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Meaning and etymology of the name Akan

Akan Akan

Akan is a grandson of Seir, through Ezer (Genesis 36:27), and is also known as Jaakan (1 Chronicles 1:42). Eventually, his name became part of a location: Bene-Jaakan, meaning 'sons of Jakan' (Numbers 33:31).

Very few sources dare propose an interpretation of this name. NOBS Study Bible Name List, HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament and BDB Theological Dictionary are all silent. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, bold as ever, follows the brilliant scholar Gesenius, who determined that the unused root 'kn ('kn) is perhaps related to hql (hql). Unfortunately, this root is also unused and brings us no further.

But, says Gesenius, it might also have something to do with the Aramaic root aqm ('qm), meaning to twist, to wrest. The good old Easton's Bible Dictionary agrees and reads He Twists for Jaakan and Twisted for Akan.

In the sense of its meaning, the name Akan is somewhat similar to the names Levi and Naphtali.



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