🔼The name Jeshishai in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Jeshishai
The beautifully symmetrical (even palindromic) name Jeshishai comes from the unused root ישש (yshsh). And because it's unused we don't know what it means, but BDB Theological Dictionary reports equivalent words in Arabic, which mean weak or impotent man. One derivative of this root seems to confirm this idea: ישש (yashesh), meaning aged or decrepit. This word occurs only once, in 2 Chronicles 36:17. A more frequently occurring derivative of our root is the word ישיש (yashish), also meaning aged, but in a much more venerative sense. This word occurs exclusively in the book of Job ("with the aged is wisdom" — 12:12; 15:10, 29:8 and 32:6)
Here at Abarim Publications, however, we are privately convinced that whether or not there is a linguistic connection, the word ישש would have probably reminded a Hebrew audience of the words שש (shesh), meaning alabaster, from the root שיש (shayish), meaning alabaster as well. The whiteness of alabaster returns in the whiteness of the temple linen, also called שש (shesh). We're guessing that to the Hebrews the word ישיש (yashish) reflected the white hair of aged men:
The name Jeshishai is the word ישיש postfixed with the letter yod. This either makes it possessive (of and old man), or, as Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes, may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
Hence for a meaning of the name Jeshishai, Jones reads Ancient Of The Lord or (Son) Of An Old Man. NOBSE Study Bible Name List simply reads Aged.