🔼The name Jeduthun: Summary
- From the verb ידה (yada), to praise.
🔼The name Jeduthun in the Bible
There are two men named Jeduthun in the Bible, one quite famous and the other relatively unknown:
The famous Jeduthun is a Levite musician who played a major part in the ministry at the Ark of the Covenant, after king David transported it from the house of Obed-edom to the tabernacle in Jerusalem. When this man is mentioned first, as the father of a gatekeeper (1 Chronicles 16:38), his name is spelled with a yod: ידיתון (Jedithun). Three verses later, as an active musician, his name is spelled with a waw: ידותון (Jeduthun).
Jeduthun had six sons who were enlisted as musical prophets under direction of their father (1 Chronicles 25:1-6) and Jeduthun himself worked as a singer along with Asaph and Heman, the famous Psalmists.
Jeduthun's name occurs in the titles of three Psalms that were incorporated in the Psalter: Psalm 39 and Psalm 62 (as Jeduthun) and Psalm 77 (as Jedithun), although some scholars believe that in these instances, the word Jeduthun denotes a musical term.
Two other sons of Jeduthun (although perhaps Shemaiah and Shimei are the same person — 1 Chronicles 25:3 and 2 Chronicles 29:14) help to clean the temple during the reign of king Hezekiah. In 2 Chronicles 35:15 Jeduthun is called the king's seer.
The lesser known Jeduthun is also a Levite, the father of Galal and the great-grandfather of a man named Obadiah, who is mentioned among the Levites who returned from the Babylonian exile (1 Chronicles 9:16). Nehemiah mentions a man who was among the post-exilic settlers of Jerusalem, named Abda who was also a great-grandson of someone named Jeduthun, who also had a son named Galal. Perhaps Abda and Obadiah are brothers or cousins and perhaps they are the same person.
🔼Etymology of the name Jeduthun
The name Jeduthun appears to be derived from an otherwise unused noun ידות (yeduth), meaning praise, which in turn comes from the verb ידה (yada) meaning to confess, praise or give thanks:
The related verbs ידה (yada), to praise, and הוד (hod), to be worthy of praise, conjugate into such similar forms that it's often not clear which verb in which tense is used. From the verb ידה (yada), to praise, come:
- The plural noun הידות (huyyedot), meaning songs of praise.
- The noun תודה (toda), meaning confession or praise.
From the verb הוד (hod), meaning to be praise-worthy, comes the noun הוד (hod), meaning splendor, majesty, vigor, glory or honor.
Our name ends with the familiar waw-nun couple that personifies or localizes the idea of the root; Jeduthun means Man Of Praise or Praiser.
For a meaning of the name Jeduthun, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Praising. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Praising or Celebrating. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name but does list it under the verb ידה (yada).