We Have a Name!

Shaylea often scolds me for giving her a name without sincere meaning.  I’ve tried and tried to help her understand that her middle name, Faith, is jam packed with meaning, theology and a story about God using her at that time in my life.  It just doesn’t matter, she claims the name Shaylea has no meaning and is useless.

In an effort to avoid such future indictments, we’ve been careful to consider heavily the impact the meaning of a name could have on a little girl.  These things, after all, are very important to little girls.

Ever since our first doctors visit to Nashville we had talked about naming the baby Joy, if it turned out to be a girl.  Shortly thereafter were were discussing possible names and Peter said he liked Hadassah.  I loved it right off.  But I couldn’t shake Joy.  I just knew Joy had to be in there somewhere.  I don’t remember who, but someone said Hadassah Joy.  I immediately thought, Haddie Joy.  It satisfied everyone, so it stuck.

We have had the name since around week 19, 5 weeks before we even knew the gender.  This is the only reason I was so eager to know if we were having a boy or girl.  I wanted to know if we could actually use the name Haddie Joy.  We never did come up with a boy’s name.

And how appropriate the name is.  We are learning joy at such a time as this.  Perfect.  (And most importantly, packed with meaning – That ought to keep Shaylea happy 😉

I need to be prepared for Shaylea’s question which is sure to come, “Mom, what does Hadassah mean?” So, I’ve done a little digging, and thus far I’ve learned that Hadassah (Esther of the Bible’s Hebrew name, Esther 2:7) in the Hebrew language means “myrtle” and “beauty”.  Isn’t that awesome?  One definition I’ve read has indicated that myrtle may also be related to the word joy somehow.  I didn’t find a good source for that claim, so I’m not sure about it yet.  I also thought it would be interesting to know more about the myrtle.  I know there are several different varieties and types, but I thought it might be interesting to look into these things together.

Perhaps you will all have a little fun with me and study up on the meaning of Hadassah Joy.  Let’s see what we can all bring back to the table.

Happy Hunting 🙂

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7 Responses to We Have a Name!

  1. Patti says:

    Have you forgotten Ethan’s suggestion of “James Bond” Ancil?

  2. I had forgotten about that! James Bond, Ha! No wonder he wanted a brother.

  3. I’ve particularly *loved* the name Hadassah after we watched One Night With The King. It just makes me think of how gorgeous she was and how much joy she had, like I know little Haddie will be. ((hugs))

  4. Hannah that is one of our favorite movies! I feel the same way 🙂

    Thanks to everyone for e-mailing me what you found!

    I’ll share some of it here.

    “The name Hadassah means “myrtle tree” which in Jewish custom represents a star, in particular the morning star. The name Esther actually means “star” but sounds (apparently, I don’t know Hebrew) like “hidden” in Hebrew, because she hide her nationality. Also, it is said that Esther was “as beautiful as the morning star.”

    So what does all that mean? I’m glad you asked

    The story of Esther parallels the story of Jesus. We, being like the Jews, are sort of in exile for our rebellion against God due to our sin. We are deserving of punishment and death because of our sin. But we have Jesus who has won grace and favor God the King and pleads our case that we might be saved from certain eternal death. And Jesus, instead of saying “if I perish” did indeed perish on our behalf on the cross taking the punishment of sin and death and placing it on himself. Instead of a three day fast he spent three days in the grave and was gloriously resurrected. Just as there was a bright star leading the wise men to his birth, Jesus Christ is the Bright and Morning Star as the close of Revelation states. And as Ephesians says, Jesus has made known to us the “mystery of his will,” what was once hidden has been made known through Jesus.”

    “I looked up Shaylea. I separated Shay and Lea. Here’s what I learned. Shay means hawk or admirable. Lea means either weary or meadow. So, now Shaylea Faith knows what her name means. An admirable place (meadow) where the heart learns to depend on God for everything.”


    mur’-t’-l (hadhac; mursine (Isa 41:19; 55:13; Neh 8:15; Zec 1:8,10 f); also as a name in Hadassah in Est 2:7, the Jewish form of ESTHER (which see)): The myrtle, Myrtus communis (Natural Order Myrtaceae), is a very common indigenous shrub all over Israel. On the bare hillsides it is a low bush, but under favorable conditions of moisture it attains a considerable height (compare Zec 1:8,10). It has dark green, scented leaves, delicate starry white flowers and dark-colored berries, which are eaten. In ancient times it was sacred to Astarte. It is mentioned as one of the choice plants of the land (Isa 41:19). “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree” (Isa 55:13), is one of the prophetic pictures of God’s promised blessings. It was one of the trees used in the Feast of Tabernacles (Neh 8:15): “the branches of thick trees” (which see) are interpreted in the Talmud (Cuk. 3 4; Yer Cuk. 3, 53rd) as myrtle boughs; also (id) the “thick trees” of Neh 8:15 as “wild myrtle.” Myrtle twigs, particularly those of the broadleaved variety, together with a palm branch and twigs of willow, are still used in the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles. For many references to myrtle in Jewish writings see Jewish Encyclopedia, IX, 137.
    E. W. G. Masterman
    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. “Definition for ‘MYRTLE'”. “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. bible-history.com – ISBE; 1915.

    Copyright Information
    © International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)

  6. Betsy says:

    “Hadassah is from the Hebrew meaning “myrtle tree”. It is a symbol of victory…”

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