🔼The name Jehudi: Summary
- From the verb ידה (yada), to praise.
🔼The name Jehudi in the Bible
There's really only one man named Jehudi in the Bible, but it needs to be noted that this name is identical to the Hebrew word for Jew. The word itself, obviously, occurs many times in the Bible.
But Jehudi is a son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah, and the emissary of the council of officials that felt compelled to deal with Baruch and Jeremiah and their stirring message (Jeremiah 36:14). Jehudi first goes to Baruch and tells him to bring Jeremiah's scroll and read it to the officials.
After Baruch finishes reading, the officials urge Baruch and Jeremiah to go undercover, as they take the scroll to king Jehoiakim of Judah. There Jehudi starts to reads it, but the king jumps up, destroys the scroll and throws it into the fire. He orders the futile hunt for the prophet and his scribe, but they are safely in hiding, already working on the message's second draft as dictated to them by YHWH (Jeremiah 36:28).
🔼Etymology of the name Jehudi
The name Jehudi is the same as the ethnonym Jew, or "one of Judah". Scholars suppose that this name may have started out as a nickname — perhaps this Jehudi operated in an environment in which he was the only Jew. But it's evenly possible that this name is an original construct of elements, and only semi-coincidentally ended up being identical to the word for Jew. In any case, the name Jehudi could be confidentially linked to 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.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (Praise-like), a possessive form (My Praise), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Jehudi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List acknowledges this name to be the same as the ethnonym and reads A Man Of Judah; A Jew. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) feels that this name should be interpreted for its full meaning, sees the final yod as mark of the Deity, and reads Praise Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name, and even urges that strictly etymologically spoken this name may not be derived from our verb, but may have been imported from another language and only artificially associated with this verb. Here at Abarim Publications we interpret the name Jehudi as the name Jew, namely as Praiser.