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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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This name was given to Azariah, by the Chaldeans. (See Daniel 1:7.) I should not have thought it necessary, in a work of this kind, to have noticed the change of name; neither perhaps the name itself, more than many others, to be met with in Scripture, which I shall pass by; had it not been for the purpose of making an observation upon it; and which I hope will not be found improper or unprofitable. I humbly conceive, that the motive with the Chaldeans, for changing the names of the children of the captivity, was somewhat more than the naturalizing them. The Hebrew, and the Chaldee language were very similar. The Chaldeans perfectly understood the Hebrew names. And they no less knew, how tenacious Hebrew parents were to give names to their children, which bore some relation to the Lord God of their fathers. In changing their names therefore, they not only designed to make them forget their beloved Jerusalem, but the yet more beloved Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And what a change they wrought here, in the instance of this man! Azariah, or more properly speaking, Azar-Jah, meant, as the words themselves indeed express, the Lord is my help; from Azar, assistance; and Jab, Lord. But Abed-nego means the servant of Nego; Abed or Obed being the Chaldee for servant. And Nego most probably was one of the dunghill idols of Babylon. So that from Azariah, to remind him, as often as he heard himself called, he might remember that JEHOVAH was his help; he is brought into remembrance whenever he now heard his name, that he was the servant of an idol, in whom there is no help. Lord! keep thy people from "mingling with the heathen, and learning their works." (Psalms 106:35.)

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Abednego'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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