Ichabod

by Patrick Henry Reardon

I know nobody—nor have I met anybody—named “Ichabod.” The name is rare. From history, I can count only three Ichabods, and the most recent of these, Deacon Washburn, died in 1868. From literature I recall only the schoolteacher at Sleepy Hollow. Since I started doing it almost sixty years ago, I have baptized hundreds of little boys; no parents ever requested the name Ichabod for their son. I never inquired, “Why not Ichabod?” but I feel sure they all would have answered, “His friends would just call him ‘Icky.’” That seems like a perfectly reasonable explanation.

A better, however, may be the meaning of the name itself: “the glory is exiled.” “Ichabod” (’i-kavod) was the name his mother gave to the son whose birth coincided with the Philistines’ capture of the Ark of the Covenant at the Battle of Aphek, around 1050 b.c. (1 Sam. 4). If Ichabod has been a rare name in modern times, it was rarer still in biblical times, for this is the only Ichabod in Holy Scripture. The name of this child, a grandson of the priest Eli, denoted a God-sent disaster. Because of his unique and ominous-sounding name, he would be for the Israelites a living reminder of the Lord’s judgment on the priestly family of Shiloh.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).


more on bible from the online archives

27.4—July/August 2014

The Things Freely Given

The Bible, Sacred Theology & the Mind of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

31.4—July/August 2018

Listening to Eve

on the Brevity & Theology of Her Recorded Words by Judith Anderson

24.3—May/June 2011

God's English

The Making & Endurance of the King James Bible, 1611-2011 by Barton Swaim

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

33.3—May/June 2020

The Fog of Love

Sin Covers a Multitude of Loves by Anthony Esolen

32.5—September/October 2019

Looking for Jacobs

Some Trivial Thoughts on the Study of Philosophy by Graeme Hunter

35.2—Mar/Apr 2022

Say Something

on Fatigued Christians Deciding to Engage the Culture by Keith Lowery

00