🔼The name Ginnethon in the Bible
The name Ginnethon occurs twice in the Bible, and although most scholars think that in both cases the same man is meant, here at Abarim Publications we must argue against that:
- One of the signers of Nehemiah's Sealed Document is called Ginnethon, which indicates that this man was very much alive and quite active.
- The patriarch of the "house of Ginnethon" obviously had so much offspring that Nehemiah mentioned his family separately (Nehemiah 12:16). It's likely that this house had had a few generations to expand, and it's evenly likely that their patriarch had long since passed away. This family was even so large that it required a leader, and if Ginnethon had been around, he would surely have been that leader. At the time of Nehemiah it was a man called Meshullam.
Scholars also assume that either or both men named Ginnethon are the same as the Ginnethoi mentioned in Nehemiah 12:4, but there is no reason to. The cluster of names mentioned early in Nehemiah 12 has little in common with those mentioned in Nehemiah 10 or those mentioned later in Nehemiah 12.
🔼Etymology of the name Ginnethon
The name Ginnethon comes from the root גנן (ganan), meaning to surround or protect:
Our name is probably constructed from an old-fashioned spelling of the noun גנה (ganna), meaning garden. The ון-extension is a common way to personalize or localize the preceding noun. The name Ginnethon literally means Garden-Man, but it may also be interpreted as Protector.
For a meaning of the name Ginnethon, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Gardener. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate this name but does list it under the root גנן (ganan).