🔼The name Tahtim-hodshi: Summary
- Nether Regions Of Renewal, Under The New Moon
- From (1) the word תחת (tahat), lower, and (2) the verb חדש (hadash), to renew.
🔼The name Tahtim-hodshi in the Bible
The name Tahtim-hodshi is possibly not a Biblical name, and if it is, it shouldn't be according to several scholars. It occurs in 2 Samuel 24, where Joab and the commanders of David's army travel through Israel to take a census of the people. In 24:6, they arrive east of the Jordan, in Gilead, the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and that has some people bothered.
It's quite likely that these scenes contain more information than we think, but here at Abarim Publications we doubt very much that someone meant to write Hittite-kadesh and accidentally wrote Tahtim-hodshi. We find it quite possible that the author made a subliminal reference to Hittite-kadesh but so far reason and portent have eluded theologians including ourselves.
🔼Etymology of the name Tahtim-hodshi
The name Tahtim-hodshi consists of two elements. The first part of our name appears to be a regular plural of the word תחת (tahat), meaning lower (this plural occurs once more, in Genesis 6:16):
The common noun, adverb and preposition תחת (tahat) means beneath or under, and often expresses a balance between a load and its support rather than a mere burden or lower position.
Adjective תחתון (tahton) means lower or lowest, and adjective and substantive תחתי (tahti) or תחתית (tahtit) means low, below or lowest.
The second part of our name comes from the root חדש (hadash), meaning to renew:
The verb חדש (hadash), means to repair or renew. Adjectives חדש (hadash) and חדשה (hadasha) mean new. Noun חדש (hadash) literally means newness or new thing and is used to indicate the new moon.
The whole name together means something like Nether Regions Of Renewal or Depressions Of The New Moon, which indicates it may have something to do with lunar worship, which was quite common in those days.
For a meaning of the name Tahtim-hodshi, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Under The New Moon. NOBSE Study Bible Name List doesn't translate this name but writes in a footnote to 2 Samuel 24:6, "Or, Kadesh in the land of the Hittite". BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation either and also refers to Kadesh.