🔼The name Ahimaaz in the Bible
There are two or three men named Ahimaaz in the Bible:
- The first Ahimaaz we meet is the father of Ahinoam, who marries king Saul and who becomes the mother of Jonathan, Ishvi, Malchi-shua, Merab and Michal (1 Samuel 14:50).
- Ahimaaz number two is a son of Zadok the high priest (2 Samuel 15:27) and father of Azariah (1 Chronicles 6:9). This Ahimaaz is the first of the two messengers who famously inform king David about the death of Absalom (2 Samuel 18).
- The third Ahimaaz is one of Solomon's twelve deputies, stationed in Naphtali (1 Kings 4:15). He marries Basemath, the daughter of Solomon.
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't list the third Ahimaaz separately but notes that "perhaps" this Ahimaaz is the same as the son of Zadok. NOBSE Study Bible Name List lists number 3 separately but adds that he "maybe" the same as number 2. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names), however, resolutely decrees that "they are decidedly in error who suppose him to be the same as No. 2," but fails to supply any convincing argument for his resolution.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahimaaz
The name Ahimaaz consists of two elements. The first part comes from the word אח (ah), meaning brother or figuratively, friend or close associate:
The second part of the name Ahimaaz comes from the verb מעץ (maaz), which is a root that isn't used in the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, but according to BDB Theological Dictionary and the renowned theologian Gesenius, is comparable to an Arabic root meaning to be enraged.
Another name derived of this same elusive verb is Maaz.
For a meaning of the name Ahimaaz, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names both read Brother Of Anger. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes My Brother Is Wrath.