Etymology • 
& Meaning • 

Hebrew • 
Greek • 
Bible • 
Names • 

Biblical Names   Copyright   Author

Meaning and etymology of the name Abishai

Abishai Abishai - Abshai Abshai

Abishai is the son of Zeruiah, the sister of king David. Abishai's brothers are Joab and Asahel. Before Abishai becomes important in David's army (2 Samuel 10:10), he joins him on his little stunt to the sleeping king Saul (1 Samuel 26:6). Much later he kills a Goliath-like giant named Ishbi-benob and saves king David's life (2 Samuel 21:16-17).

In 2 Samuel 10:10 and all of 1 Chronicles, his name is written as Abshai (Abshai). In 1 Samuel and the rest of 2 Samuel, he's called Abishai (Abishai).

It's not directly clear how the name Abishai is constructed. One possibility is as a combination of the common Hebrew word ab (ab), meaning father, and the name Jesse, which is the name of Abisha's grandfather Jesse. In English these names don't sound alike, but apparently they did in Bible times. The Septuagint lists these names as Jesse and Abishai.

To make matters worse: the meaning of the name Jesse is also disputed, but may mean either My Husband or Yah Exists. The name Abishai would thus mean both My Father Is My Husband or My Father Yah Exists.

Another possibility comes when we recognize that in names the word ab is often followed by a yod in connection with names of places to express the lord of a country, city, village. The second part of the name Abishai would then be shay (shay), gift, gift offered as homage (Isaiah 18:7, Ps 76:12).

The name Abishai may thus mean My Father Is Jesse (BDB Theological Dictionary), Father Of A Gift (NOBS Study Bible Name List), or Father Of Gifts (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).



•Look for baby names
•Augment your Hebrew language study
•Deepen your knowledge of the Bible
•Enrich your cruise to or travel holiday in Israel