🔼The name Delaiah in the Bible
As is usual for names that end on יה (-iah), the name Delaiah occurs both with and without the final ו (waw). There are five different men named Delaiah(u) in the Bible:
- One of the seven sons of Elioenai, who appear to have been the youngest generation of descendants of Solomonic at the time of the Chronicler's writing (1 Chronicles 3:24).
- The twenty-third of twenty-four descendants of Aaron who were assigned unspecified temple duties by king David and high-priest Zadok (1 Chronicles 24:18; spelled with the final waw).
- One of three family heads whose alleged post-exilic descendants couldn't prove whether they were truly Israelites (Ezra 2:60 and Nehemiah 7:62). The Jews were sent home with quite a wealth of supplies and it was to be expected that this attracted the attentions of charlatans.
- The father of Shemaiah, who tried to frighten and discourage Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:10). Nehemiah surmised that Shemaiah was hired by Nehemiah's nemeses Tobiah and Sanballat, but he may very well have been an embittered son of the previous Delaiah, who perhaps in want of his proper paperwork was confined to his home.
- One of king Jehoiakim's counselors to whom Micaiah conveyed the words of Jeremiah which Baruch had read in the chamber of Gemariah (Jeremiah 36:12). When Jeremiah's scroll finally ended up in Jehoiakim's hands, the latter became so irritated with what it said that he cut it to bits and threw them in the fire. Delaiah was one of three men who pleaded with the king not to burn the words (Jeremiah 36:25). Both occurrences of this name in Jeremiah are spelled with the final waw.
🔼Etymology of the name Delaiah
The name Delaiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) or יהו (Yahu), which are both abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The second part of our name comes from the verb דלה (dala), which is commonly, yet erroneously, interpreted as to draw:
Since the name Delaiah incorporates a verb that associates different in Hebrew than in English (in English we don't associate drawing water or being a door with the verb to hang) it's not easy to translate this name.
For a meaning of the name Delaiah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Drawn Up Of The Lord and BDB Theological Dictionary has Yah(u) Hath Drawn.
Much more creatively and surprisingly acute, NOBSE Study Bible Name List suggests Yahweh Has Delivered.