🔼The name Obed-edom: Summary
- Slave of Edom, Servant Of The Red One
- From (1) the verb עבד ('abad), to work or serve, and (2) the name Edom or the word אדם ('adom), red.
🔼The name Obed-edom in the Bible
Besides the famous Philistine Obed-edom of Gath, who was assigned to safe keep the Ark of the Covenant in his house (2 Samuel 6:10, only here spelled עבד־אדום; the shorter version occurs with a maqqep, or hyphen, three times in 1 Chronicles 13 and 15), there are the three following additional Obed-edoms in the Bible:
- A gatekeeper (1 Chronicles 26:8).
- A Levitical musician (1 Chronicles 16:5).
- A guardian of the sacred vessels (2 Chronicles 25:24).
🔼Etymology of the name Obed-edom
The name Obed-edom obviously consists of two separate elements:
The first part of the name Obed-edom comes from the root עבד ('abad), meaning servant or to serve:
The verb עבד ('abad) means to work or serve, and the noun עבד ('ebed) denotes someone who works: from a slave to a hired expert. The Greek equivalent of this noun is δουλος (doulos).
The second part of the name Obed-edom comes from the root אדם ('dm), meaning either mankind or ruddy, or refers to Edom:
The root דמם (ddm) is all about beginnings — or rather the simplicity from whence complexity arises — from being still before the noise starts to being monochromatic before color vision starts. Verb דמם (damam) means to be still, noun דממה (demama) denotes calmness and דמה (dumma) denotes a silenced person. Noun דומה (duma) describes the silence of death, noun דומיה or דמיה (dumiya) the silence of waiting and noun דומם (dumam) the silence of inertia or inactivity.
Verb דמה (dama I) describes making a (still) image. Nouns דמות (demut) and דמין (dimyon) mean likeness. Verb דמה (dama II) means to stop, halt or arrest. Noun דמי (domi) means a halting. Whatever the unused verb דמן (dmn) might have meant, noun דמן (domen) denotes refuse and מדמנה (madmena) a manure pit.
Unused verb אדם ('dm) may have meant to produce or begin to produce. Noun אדם (adam) is one of a few words for man but means literally probably "product" or likeness-made-from-soil; man as corporeal unit of humanity. This word is never used in plural, and its feminine equivalent, namely אדמה (adama), denotes arable soil or clay-red earth.
Red is the first color a baby learns to see and red or ruddy is indeed the color of rudiment: verb אדם (adom or adem) means to be red, adjective אדם ('adom) means red, noun אדם ('odem) denotes a ruddy gem, possibly quartz, noun אדם ('edom) denotes a kind of red stew, adjective אדמדם ('adamiddam) means reddish, and adjective אדמוני (admoni) means red or ruddy.
The ubiquitous noun דם (dam) means blood; the seat of life.
The name Obed-edom entirely translated becomes Servant Of The Red One, but for a meaning of the name Obed-edom, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Servant Of Edom, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Serving Edom.