🔼The name Moadiah and Maadiah: Summary
- Yah Totters, Slipping For Yah
- Meeting Place Of Yah, Ornament Of Yah
- From (1) the verb מעד (ma'ad), to slip or totter, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb עדד ('adad), to repeatedly encounter, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Moadiah and Maadiah in the Bible
The name Moadiah occurs one time in the Bible. In Nehemiah 12:17 a man named such is mentioned among the heads of the priestly households in the days of Joiakim the high priest. It's probable that this Moadiah is the same as the Maadiah (מעדיה) mentioned in Nehemiah 12:5. These two names are virtually the same.
🔼Etymology of the names Moadiah and Maadiah
The names Moadiah and Maadiah consist of two elements, the final one being יה (yah), which is short for יהוה or YHWH.
It's not clear where the first part of our names comes from but there are two obvious candidates, the first of which being the identical verb מעד (ma'ad), to slip or totter:
The verb מעד (ma'ad) means to slip or totter and describes a being unstable of step or confidence.
The obvious objection to this construction is that it would result in a meaning of Yah Totters or Slipping For Yah, which would be at odds with much of the sentiments of the Hebrew Bible. Even the idea that in our weakness we are strong (Zechariah 4:6, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10) never lets a person slip or totter. Another possible swing to this is the idea that servants of Yah will inevitable be persecuted (Psalm 31:15, 2 Timothy 3:12), but again, this does not result in the servants slipping or tottering.
A second possible origin of the first part of our names comes with verbs from the stock עדד ('adad). Particularly the noun מועד (mo'ad), which literally describes an agent/instrument/place of יעד (ya'ad), to meet, is identical to the first part of Moadiah:
Root עדד ('adad) describes a repeated passing by or over, or a repeated encountering. Noun עדה ('idda) describes any well-worn item.
Verb עדה ('ada I) means to advance or pass on. Nouns עד ('ad) and ועד (w'ad) describe the difficult concept of a future era advancing upon the now, or else the prey or booty upon which a predator advances. The conjunction עד ('ad) or עדי ('ady) means "as far as" or until.
The same verb, namely עדה ('ada II) is used to mean to adorn or ornament oneself — that is: to have items approach the canvas of one's bulk in order to testify of some social rank or perhaps the trade or order one belongs to. Noun עדי ('adi) means ornamentation: fancy or declarative things worn on one's body or clothes.
Verb יעד (ya'ad) means to meet, habitually and repeatedly rather than incidentally. Noun עדה ('eda) means congregation or some other joint collective. Nouns מועד (mo'ed), מועד (mo'ad) and מועדה (mu'ada) describe a place (or time) of meeting.
Verb עוד ('ud) means to return and repeat. Noun עוד ('od) denotes an addition, repetition or continuance. Nouns עד ('ed), עדה ('eda), עדה ('eda), עדת ('edut), עדות ('edut) and תעודה (te'uda) all mean witness or testimony in various nuances, and verb עוד ('ud) means to bear witness.
🔼Moadiah and Maadiah meaning
For a meaning of the names Moadiah and Maadiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List is silent but reads Ornament Of Yahweh for the highly similar name Maadai. Likewise Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names deems Moadiah the same as Maadiah and Maadai and reads Ornament Of The Lord for the latter.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation of our names but lists them under the verb מעד (ma'ad), to slip or totter.