🔼The name Judith: Summary
- Praised, Let Him Be Praised
- From the verb ידה (yada), to praise.
🔼The name Judith in the Bible
The presently highly popular name Judith occurs only once in the Bible. The original Judith is the Hittite daughter of Beeri, and the wife of Esau. This is peculiar because the name Judith is the feminine form of the masculine name Judah. It may very well be that the origin of the name Judah was inspired by the name of his aunt Judith, and not vice versa.
🔼Etymology of the name Judith
The name Judith is the feminized version of the name Judah (or whatever Judah originally meant). Both come from the verb ידה, meaning to praise:
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 name Judith technically does not contain the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH, but no member of a Hebrew audience would fail to notice that the first three letters of the name Judith form יהו (Yahu).
For a meaning of the name Judith, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Jewess, but since the Jews did not exist yet this early in Genesis and also because Judith was a Hittite, a more proper translation would be equal to that of Judah: Let Him Be Praised.