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Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Haggai

Haggai Haggai

The name Haggai is assigned to only one person in the Bible, although the name Haggi is pretty much identical to Haggai. Haggai is a minor prophet of Israel who wrote around 520 BC, the time when Israel had returned from exile and was recreating the country (Haggai:1). His book is one of the shortest in the Bible. It consists of only 2 chapters, a total of 38 verses, and it's entirely directed at Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, as God wants Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple.

The name Haggai is quite possibly derived from the Hebrew verb hagag (hagag), meaning to celebrate, hold a feast. According to BDB Theological Dictionary the most fundamental meaning of hagag is to make a pilgrimage or keep a pilgrimage feast. The Arabic equivalent means "to betake oneself to or towards an object of reverence," and this verb returns in the prescribed pilgrimage to Mecca: the Hadj. The derived noun hag (hag) means feast and the derivative haga (haga) means reeling. The latter noun is used only once, in Isaiah 19:17, and HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament declares "derivative from hagag unsure.

Post-fixed with the possessive yod the name Haggai may mean My Feast. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names assumes that Haggai is an abbreviated form of Haggiah and that the yod is a remnant of Jah, Jah, which in turn is an abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton YHWH, YHWH, or Yahweh. Jones reads Festival Of The Lord.

BDB Theological Dictionary reads Festal. NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Festive.

Related names are Haggi, Haggiah and Haggith.



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