🔼The name Nod: Summary
- From the verb נוד (nud), to wander or move to and fro.
🔼The name Nod in the Bible
Where the Land of Nod might have been located isn't known, and Nod is not mentioned again. It seems plausible that the phrase "land of Nod" is proverbial and not really a geographical location; in form perhaps comparable to Genesis' (Phil Collins') "land of confusion" or Walter Sobchak's "world of pain". Also note the distinct similarities between this mysterious land of Nod and the usage of the pseudo-name Arabia.
🔼Etymology of the name Nod
The name Nod comes from the verb נוד (nud), denoting an unsteadily going back and forth:
The verb נוד (nud) means to wander or flutter. Nouns נוד (nod) and נד (nod) describe the wandering of a fugitive. Noun ניד (nid) describes the quivering of lips. Noun מנוד (manod) means a shaking or wagging.
When God pronounces the curse on Cain he uses a derivative of the verb nud: "You shall be a vagabond and a fugitive (נד)" (Genesis 4:12). In our day and age there may be a romantic notion to vagrancy, but in the Biblical arena this is very awful. Restlessness occurs due to separation from God; Cain 'went out from the presence of the Lord' (Genesis 4:16). When Jesus says, "I will give you rest," (Matthew 11:28) he not only promises the mother of all Saturdays, he offers us a place in the presence of God, to make us 'stand in the presence of his glory blameless with great joy' (Jude 1:24).
The contrast between rest and aimless wandering is perhaps best illustrated by the name by which the devil is commonly known: Beelzebub, derived from the verb zebub, to zigzag aimlessly, to and fro.
The Land of Nod is the Land Of The Fugitive/ Wanderer.
For a meaning of the name Nod, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Wandering Exile. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Wandering, and Vagabond.