🔼The name Abi: Summary
- My Father, Fatherly, Father Of ...
- From the noun אב ('ab), father.
🔼The name Abi in the Bible
The name Abi occurs only once in the Bible; she is the daughter of one of the many Zechariah's in the Bible, and the mother of king Hezekiah and wife of king Ahaz of Judah (2 Kings 18:2). In the parallel text of 2 Chronicles 29:1, she is called Abijah.
🔼Etymology of the name Abi
The name Abi consists of a word that is among the most frequently occurring in names: אב ('ab), meaning father:
The noun אב ('ab) means father, but describes primarily a social relationship rather than a biological one. That social fatherhood was the defining quality of the community's alpha male, the one around whom all economy revolved and from whom emanated all instructions by which the 'sons' (בן, ben) operated. It's unclear where this word אב ('ab) comes from but the verb abu means to decide.
The name Abi as it occurs in the Bible is probably a truncated form of Abijah, which means Yahweh Is Father. But this truncated form Abi literally means My Father and Fatherly. Since Abi is a woman, her name is obviously not representative of herself but rather commemorative of God.
For a meaning of the name Abi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads the rather incomplete Father Of. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names appears to ignore the final yod and reads simply Father. BDB Theological Dictionary equates the name Abi with Abijah and translates it with Yah(u) Is (My) Father.