🔼The name Kedemah: Summary
- Former, Eastward
- From the noun קדמה (qadma), antiquity or a former state.
🔼The name Kedemah in the Bible
There is only one man named Kedemah in the Bible. He's listed twice in the same context and all we know about him is that he was the youngest of twelve sons of Ishmael the archer, who all grew up to be princes (Genesis 25:15, 1 Chronicles 1:31). That means that Kedemah was a grandson of Abraham, just like Jacob.
🔼Etymology of the name Kedemah
The name Kedemah is spelled the same as the noun קדמה (qadma) may refer to antiquity or a former state. It's the feminine equivalent of the masculine noun קדם (qedem), antiquity or east:
The root קדם (qdm) deals with former things and may simply refer to antiquity but more specifically a more primitive social state: more social dispersal, less social cohesion and connectedness, less economic and technological complexity and thus less specialization and ultimately less personal freedom of being.
Noun קדם (qedem) may mean antiquity but it may also mean east (the place of sunrise). The denominative verb קדם (qadam) means to be or do earlier, to anticipate, to be in front, to meet.
The adverb קדם (qedem) means eastward (or toward a condition of more dispersal and less complexity). Noun קדמה (qadma) may refer to antiquity or a former (less complex) state. Noun קדים (qadim) means easter or eastern and is often used to indicate a destructive wind that blows toward the east. Adjectives קדמון (qadmon) and קדמני (qadmoni) mean eastern or former.
For a meaning of the name Kedemah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Toward The East and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Eastward. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does list it under קדמה (qadma).
It's really rather striking that the youngest of Ishmael's twelve sons is called The First because in actuality he's the last. Also striking is that the name of Ishmael's youngest is related to the East, whereas the name of Israel's youngest, namely Benjamin, derives from the word ימן (yamin), meaning South.