🔼The name Shephatiah in the Bible
There are seven to nine men named Shephatiah in the Bible. It's not always clear where one Shephatiah ends and the other begins:
- The fifth son of David, by Abital (2 Samuel 3:4, 1 Chronicles 3:3).
- The father of a man named Meshullam, who is mentioned among the people who returned from exile (1 Chronicles 9:8).
- A Haruphite warrior who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:5). In this instance our name is written with a final waw: שפטיהו (Shephatiahu), which is essentially the same name. Many names that end with yah also exist ending on yahu.
- A son of Maacah and chief of the tribe of Simeon at the time of David (1 Chronicles 27:16). Here our name is also spelled with a final waw.
- A son of king Jehoshaphat, and brother of king Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:2). This one also spelled with a final waw.
- The patriarch of a substantial family that returned from exile, mentioned by Ezra (Ezra 2:4) and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 7:9). This Shephatiah may be the same as the patriarch of the family of temple servants (Ezra 2:57 and Nehemiah 7:59), and even the forefather of Athaiah, who moved to Jerusalem after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 11:4).
- A son of Mattan and a member of a small group of officials who conspired against Jeremiah and cast him in the cistern of prince Malchijah (Jeremiah 38:1).
🔼Etymology of the name Shephatiah
The name Shephatiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes from the verb שפט (shapat) meaning to judge or govern:
For a meaning of the name Shephatiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Judges. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Judge Of The Lord. And BDB Theological Dictionary proposes YHWH Hath Judged, Vindicated.