🔼The name Adnah in the Bible
There are two completely different Hebrew names that in English turn out both as Adnah. We'll call them Adnah I and Adnah II:
🔼The name Adnah I: Summary
- From the noun עדן ('eden), delight, finery or luxury.
🔼The name עדנה (Adnah I) in the Bible
The name Adnah I (ending on the letter he) occurs just once in the Bible. More than a century after Adnah II, Adnah I is a Judahite commander of a division of king Jehoshaphat's army (2 Chronicles 17:14).
🔼Etymology of the name Adnah I
This version of the name Adnah comes from the Hebrew noun עדן ('eden), meaning delight or luxury:
Root עדן ('eden) has to do with free exchange of broadly diverse information, services and goods — which is where wealth comes from, in the modern understanding of economy. Nouns עדן ('eden), עדנה ('edna) and מעדן (ma'adan) mean delight, finery or luxury. Adjective עדין ('adin) means delightful or luxurious. Verb עדן ('adan) means to luxuriate or to delight.
🔼Adnah I meaning
For a meaning of Adnah I, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Pleasure.
🔼The name Adnah II: Summary
- Delightful Brother, Brother Of Wealth
- Possibly from (1) the noun עדן ('eden), delight, finery or luxury, and (2) the noun אח ('ah), brother.
🔼The name עדנח (Adnah II) in the Bible
The name Adnah II (ending on the letter heth, and pronounced Adnach, with a slight ch as in Bach) also occurs just once in the Bible. When David still lives in Ziklag, under the protectorate of Achish the Abimelech of Gath, a military man named Adnah of Manasseh deflects from king Saul to David.
🔼Etymology of the name Adnah II
It's not clear how this version of the name Adnah was formed, other than that the first three letters are obviously the same as the noun eden discussed above. NOBSE Study Bible Name List even disregards any difference and lists both Adnahs under Adnah I. BDB Theological Dictionary too lists both names together, but seems to link Adnah II to the name עדנא (Adna). This is curious because the aleph would alternate with the he much sooner than with the heth, meaning that Adnah I could be considered a variant spelling of Adna, or the other way around, but not Adnah II.
The Septuagint writes Εδνας (Ednas) for Adnah I, Εδνα (Edna) for Adnah II (BDB Theological Dictionary is in error in this regard), and Εδνε (Edne) for Adna. The Vulgate has Ednas for both Adnahs and Edna for Adna.
🔼Adnah II meaning
The only commentator who dares to make a suggestion is the valiant Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names). He believes that the letter is a remnant of the word אח ('ah), meaning brother. This word is part of a vast array of names and seems certainly plausible. Hence, for a meaning of the name Adnah II, Jones reads Favorite Brother.
It should be noted, however, that the word eden never expresses a preference, merely a state of delight. Following Jones's proposal, a more proper rendering of this name would be Delightful Brother.