🔼The name Pedahzur: Summary
- The Rock Upgrades, He Upgrades To The Standard Of The Rock
- From (1) the verb פדה (pada), to upgrade the operating standard, and (2) the noun צור (sur), rock.
🔼The name Pedahzur in the Bible
The name Pedahzur belongs to the father of Gamaliel, who was the chief of Manasseh of Joseph from about a year after Israel had left Egypt. This name occurs five times (Numbers 1:10, 2:20, 7:54, 7:59, 10:23), always in the construction "Gamaliel son of Pedahzur".
🔼Etymology of the name Pedahzur
The name Pedahzur consists of two elements. The first part stems from the verb פדה (pada), to pay a private price for collective freedom:
The verb פדה (pada) describes a letting go of an old standard (say, phonetic spelling) and assuming a new one (standardized spelling). The new standard may appear more restrictive at a personal level but it allows a much greater precision and thus basin of exchange and thus liberty at the collective level.
This verb speaks of an individual price paid for collective freedom and is as such often translated as to ransom or redeem. In the stories of the Bible, the old standard often appears as captor or abductor or slave-driving task master.
Nouns פדוים (peduyim), פדות (pedut), פדיום (pidyom), פדיון (pidyon) and פדין (pidyon) all mean ransom or price of redemption.
The second part of our name is the noun צור (sur), meaning rock:
- Verb צור (sur I) probably means to lean or incline. Noun צואר (sawwa'r) means neck and צורון (sawwaron) means necklace.
- Verb צור (sur II) means to confine, secure or besiege. Noun מצור (masor) means siege and מצורה (mesura) means stronghold. This verb relates to verb צרר (sarar I).
- Verb צור (sur III) means to be an adversary. It relates to צרר (sarar II).
- Verb צור (sur IV) means to form or fashion. Noun צורה (sura) means form and noun ציר (sir) means image. This verb relates to יצר (yasar).
- Verb צור (sur V) probably relates to verb צרר (sarar III) and probably means to be sharp. The important noun צור (sur) means rock, and is equivalent to the Greek noun πετρα (petra), from which comes the name Peter.
- Verb צרר (sarar I) means to bind and relates to צור (sur II). Adjective צר (sar) means narrow. Nouns צר (sar) and צרה (sara) mean distress and yield denominative verb צרה (sara), meaning to suffer distress. Noun צרור (seror) means bundle or parcel. Noun מצר (mesar) means distress.
- Verb צרר (sarar II) means to show hostility and relates to verb צור (sur III). Noun צר (sar) means adversary. Noun צרה (sara) means vexer or rival-wife. Denominative verb צרר (sarar) means to create a rival wife.
- Verb צרר (sarar III) probably means to be sharp and relates to צור (sur V). Nouns צר (sar), צר (sor) and צרור (seror) mean flint or pebble.
Verb יצר (yasar) means to fashion or form and relates to צור (sur IV). Noun יצר (yeser) denotes that what is formed, and noun יצרים (yesurim) means forms or members.
Verb צרה (srh) probably describes the bleeding of an odoriferous tree. Noun צרי (sari) denotes a kind of costly balsam.
For a meaning of the name Pedahzur, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Rock (God) Has Redeemed, but it should be noted that not even in Old Testament rock-theology, the image of the rock is identical to God. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the rather liberal Redemption Of Strength. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes The Rock Hath Ransomed.