🔼The name Abimael: Summary
- God Is Father, A Father Is El, My Father From God
- From (1) the noun אב ('ab), father, (2) the letter מ, "from," and (3) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Abimael in the Bible
Abimael is one of many sons of Joktan, the brother of Peleg (Genesis 10:28), and Peleg is the ancestor of Abraham. The Joktanites are the last mentioned Shemite generation before the tower of Babel is built.
🔼Etymology of the name Abimael
The name Abimael is a compilation of three elements. The first part is the familiar word 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 central part is the letter מ, which, when used as suffix, means from.
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
BDB Theological Dictionary reads A Father Is El, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Is Father, but both fail take into account the מ-particle. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes My Father From God.