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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Elisha

Elisha Elisha

The name Elisha occurs only once in the Bible, as the prophet who succeeds Israel's prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:16).

The name Elisha consists of two elements:

The first part is el (El), the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God.

The second part of the name comes from the Hebrew verb yasha (yasha), meaning to be saved, delivered. This verb covers one of the core messages of the Bible, and, together with its derivatives, occurs more than 350 times. It covers salvation in the theological sense (Psalm 68:19), but also a rescue from earthly bad guys (Exodus 2:17).

Some derivations of this verb are yasha (yesha), meaning salvation and yeshua (yeshua), meaning salvation as well. Derivation shoa (shoa) indicates a 'free man,' meaning an independent (say: rich) person. Whether this word is actually part of the verb yasha is debated

For the meaning of the name Elisha, BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBS Study Bible Name List agree on God Is Salvation. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads God The Savior, Salvation Of My God.

Other names that are formed from the verb yasha are: Abishua, Bathshua, Hosea, Hoshaiah, Isaiah, Ishi, Jeshaiah, Jeshua, Jesus, Joshua, Mesha and Shoa / Shua(h). And also related is the word Hosanna.



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