🔼The name Ishvi in the Bible
There are two men named Ishvi (or Ishui, as the King James and the Young translation have it) in the Bible:
- A son of Asher, and one of the sixty-six proto-Israelites who made the trek from Canaan to Goshen in Egypt (Genesis 46:17, 1 Chronicles 7:30). This Ishvi became the patriarch of the sub-clan of the ישוי, the Ishvites (Numbers 26:44). Note that the name Ishvi and the ethnonym Ishvite are spelled the same in Hebrew.
- One of the lesser known sons of king Saul (1 Samuel 14:49). This Ishvi plays no further role in the Bible.
🔼Etymology of the name Ishvi
The name Ishvi appears to be associated to the verb שוה I (shawa I), meaning to be even, agree with or resemble:
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (even-ly), a possessive form (my resemblance), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Ishvi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Man Of Yahweh, and that is difficult to defend. Perhaps NOBSE believes that the name Ishvi has to do with the name Eshbaal (אשבעל = Man Of Baal), which according to the Chronicler belongs to one of the sons of Saul. But there seems to be no etymological or even narrative relation between these two.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates the name Ishvi with Equal. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does list it under the verb שוה I (shawa I), meaning to be even, and demands that the name Ishvi really should be Eshbaal.