🔼The name Medad: Summary
- Beloved, Lover
- From the verb ידד (yadad), to love.
🔼The name Medad in the Bible
There is only one man named Medad in the Bible. He and a man named Eldad are part of a contingent of seventy men who were assigned to help Moses with the government of Israel (Numbers 11:16). They are told to come to the tent of meeting, for their inauguration, some face-time with YHWH and to be endowed with the Spirit of the Lord. There aren't many of us who get the chance of conversing with the Lord in physical reality and for some utterly mysterious reason, Medad and Eldad decide not to go.
The Lord addresses the sixty-eight and pours out his Spirit over them, and back in camp, Medad and Eldad start prophesying anyway (Numbers 11:25).
Joshua gets upset with all of this, but Moses calms him down and expresses the wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and receptive for the spirit of the Lord (Numbers 11:29). The government of Israel gets going, but whatever happened with Medad and Eldad the story doesn't tell.
🔼Etymology of the name Medad
The name Medad comes from the verb ידד (yadad), meaning to love:
The root ידד (yadad) has to do with love, and that mostly in the affectionate, physical sense. Adjective ידיד (yadid) means beloved or lovely. Noun ידידות (yedidot) means love, as in "a song of love" and noun ידידות (yedidut), meaning love in the sense of beloved one.
Curiously, an identical verb ידד (yadad II) means to cast a lot and instead of being kin to the previous, it appears to be related to the verb ידה (yada), which originally meant to cast but which evolved to mean to praise.
That our root has to do with physical fondling and love-making is demonstrated by the verb דדה (dada), which means to move slowly. Noun דד (dad) denotes a women's nipple or breast specifically as object of one's husband's interest.
Unused verb דוד (dwd) probably meant to gently swing, dandle, fondle. Noun דוד (dod) or דד (dod) means beloved or loved one, and may also describe one's uncle. The feminine version, דודה (doda), means aunt. Noun דודי (duday) literally means a "love-bringer" and describes a mandrake. Noun דוד (dud) refers to a kind of pot or jar (perhaps one that was rocked or stirred?).
It may or may not be that the noun יד (yad), meaning hand, also has something to do with this root.
The letter מ (mem) with which our name starts is a common augmentation of any root. It basically means "from" and has the function of creating a "vessel" in which the verb takes place. Medad would thus literally mean Lover.
For a meaning of the name Medad, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Beloved and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has simply Love. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the verb ידד.