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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

It is not uncommon for some languages to combine words together to form one word. We call these compound words. In English, some examples of compound words are; grassroots, upstanding, moonshine and whirlwind. The Greek language of the New Testament is filled with such words. An example being the word προάγω (pro’ago, Strong’s #4254), which is the combination of the word προ (pro, Strong’s #4253), meaning "before" (where we get our prefix "pre," pun intended), and άγω (ago, Strong’s #71), meaning "bring." The word προάγω (pro’ago, Strong’s #4254) means "what came before."

Hebrew never combines words together, except in names. The Hebrew phrase אבי דן (aviy dan) is the word אבי (aviy) meaning "my father" and דן (dan) meaning "judge – my father is judge. But this phrase is written as a compound word in Numbers 1:11 and is therefore a name – Aviydan.

In Isaiah 9:6 we find the compound word אביעד (aviyad). This is the word אבי (aviy) meaning "my father" and עד (ad) meaning "continues" – my father continues. Because this word is written as a compound word, it is a name that should be transliterated (Aviyad) and not translated (my father is continues). However, in the Dead Sea Scrolls, this word is written as two different words - אבי עד (aviy ad), which should be translated and not transliterated.

The phrase אל גבור (el gibbor) comes before the word אביעד (aviyad) and means "mighty god." Therefore the entire phrase אל גבור אביעד (el gibbor aviyad) should be translated as "the mighty god of Aviyad." But to make things even more confusing, in the Dead Sea Scrolls the phrase אל גבור (el gibbor) is written as a compound word – אלגבר (elgibbor) and should therefore be understood as a name – Elgibbor. Therefore, from the Dead Sea Scrolls, this entire phrase is written as אלגבר אבי עד (elgibbor aviy ad) and should be translated as "Elgibbor is my father continuing."

I am of the opinion that the last part of Isaiah 9:6 is a string of names…

For a child was born to us, a son was given to us, the government is upon his shoulders, his name is Pele (wonderful), Yo’eyts (counselor), Elgibbor (mighty god), Aviyad (my father continues), sarshalom (ruler of peace).

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