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Hen meaning

חן
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🔼The name Hen in the Bible

It's not clear whether the name Hen is actually a Biblical name. If it is, then it occurs only once and Hen is a son of Zephaniah (Zechariah 6:14), who also has a son named Josiah (Zechariah 6:10). Most scholars seem to believe that Hen and Josiah are the same person but it may not be that simple.

All we know is that the prophet Zechariah was commanded by YHWH to:

  • Take an offering from Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah
  • Then go to the house of Josiah, son of Zephaniah.
  • Create an ornate crown.
  • Set the crown on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest
  • Speak to him about the man named Branch, and the temple of the Lord.

And then the Lord said, "Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the Lord to: Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah".

Of those four names, only the middle two (Tobijah and Jedaiah) were mentioned before. Heldai and Josiah aren't part of the crown's mnemonic function, and Helem and Hen don't contribute to its fabrication.

And it's not even all that certain whether these names are actually names. The authors of the Septuagint (3rd century BC) didn't acknowledge Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, Helem and Hen as names but translated these words and used them in the narrative. Only since Jerome's Vulgate (3rd century AD) have translations printed these words as names.

🔼Etymology of the name Hen

The "name" Hen comes from the verb חנן (hanan), meaning to be gracious, and is identical to the noun חן (hen), meaning favor or grace:

🔼Hen meaning

For a meaning of the "name" Hen, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Favor. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Gracious Gift.

The Septuagint reads for Zechariah 6:14: "The crown shall be for endurance, and for availment, and for insight, and for the grace of the son of Zephaniah," which makes perfect sense and might even be the preferred reading.

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