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Meaning and etymology of the name Zechariah

Zechariah Zechariah

Zechariah is a hugely popular name in the later Bible books. The first mentioned Zechariah is the son of king Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:29). He is assassinated and succeeded by Shallum, son of Jabesh (15:10). A certain Reubenite is also named Zechariah but we don't exactly know when he lived (1 Chronicles 5:7). Then there are a Levite gatekeeper of the tent of the meeting (1 Chronicles 9:21), a Benjaminte whose brother Mikloth became the grandfather of king Saul (1 Chronicles 9:37), a Levite musician in the time of David (1 Chronicles 15:18), a priest and trumpeter (1 Chronicles 15:24), a Levite from the Kohath branch (1 Chronicles 24:25), a Levite from the Merari branch in the time of David (1 Chronicles 26:11), a man from Manasseh (1 Chronicles 27:21), a teacher in king Jehoshaphat's service (2 Chronicles 17:7), a Levite from Asaph's family (2 Chronicles 20:14), a son of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:4), a son of Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:22), a prophet during Uzziah's reign (2 Chronicles 26:5), a king of Israel (2 Kings 15:8), a man mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 8:2), Hezekiah's maternal grandfather (2 Chronicles 29:1), a Levite during Hezekiah's reign (2 Chronicles 29:13), another Korathite Levite (2 Chronicles 34:12), a temple official in king Josiah's service (2 Chronicles 35:8), a postexilic returnee (Ezra 8:3), a son of Bebai (Ezra 8:11), a man in Ezra's service (Ezra 8:15), another assistant of Ezra (Nehemiah 8:4), a Jew who divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:26), a Levite trumpeter (Nehemiah 12:35), a priest (Nehemiah 12:41), a man of Judah (Nehemiah 11:4), another man from Judah (Nehemiah 11:5), a postexilic priest (Nehemiah 11:2), and of course the prophet and author of the Book of Zechariah.
In the New Testament we find Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Zacharias is the Greek and Latin version of Zechariah.

The name Zechariah consists of two parts. The final bit is yah, the abbreviated form of the Name of the Lord: YHWH (YHWH).
The first segment of the name Zechariah comes from the verb zakar (zakar) to think about or meditate upon, remember, recollect, and hence declare, recite, proclaim etc. Derivation zakar (zeker) means remembrance.

The name Zechariah means Yah Remembers or Remembrance of Yah.

A funny additional meaning lies in the peculiar derivation of the verb zakar, namely the words zakar (zakar) and zakur (zakur), both meaning male. The reason for this is hard to guess at (the word for female comes from the verb pierce, bore) but it is highly unlikely that the Hebrew language contains traces of the idea that only males are cognizant. First of all, that idea is not contained in the texts that are written in the Hebrew language. Second, the males of animals are also known by this word, and animals are not cognizant. More probable is a relationship between masculinity and public recitation, proclamation or declaration. Women rarely spoke publicly, although it certainly happened.

But following zakar's meaning of male, we find for the name Zechariah a secondary meaning of Yah's Male. And that isn't all that weird considering that the name of the archangel Gabriel means God's Guy.



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