🔼The name Nahash in the Bible
The name Nahash occurs in the Bible twice (or three times) as a personal name, and one time as the name of a city:
- The full name of the city is Ir-nahash (1 Chronicles 4:12).
- The king of Ammon during the early years of Saul is called Nahash (1 Samuel 11:1). The Biblical record pictures him as not a very nice guy, but years later David seems to keep him in high regard (2 Samuel 10:2).
- Curiously enough, around the same time there is Nahash the father of Zeruiah and Abigail (2 Samuel 17:25), who elsewhere are reckoned daughters of Jesse and sisters of David (1 Chronicles 2:16). See the article on Jesse for a discussion of this conundrum.
- Lastly there is Nahash the father of Shobi, who appears to be a leader in Rabbah at the time of David (2 Samuel 17:27). But the Ammonite city of Rabbah had been conquered just years prior, and its citizens murdered in the most horrendous ways (2 Samuel 12:31). It seems odd to assume that a son of the deposed king would still rule it, and this Nahash is either someone else, or Shobi was a princely member of an Ammonite resistance movement that's otherwise not recognized.
🔼Etymology of the name Nahash
The name Nahash comes from the root group נחש (nhsh I, II, III and perhaps IV):
For a meaning of the name Nahash, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Serpent.