🔼The name Ahihud I: Summary
- Brother Of Majesty, Brother Of Praise
- From (1) the noun אח ('ah), brother, and (2) the noun הוד (hod), majesty, or the verb ידה (yada), to praise.
🔼The name Ahihud in the Bible
There are two men in the Bible who have two completely different names (which are pronounced differently too) and which both accidentally transliterate to Ahihud in English. This is not uncommon. The same happens with the names Ezra and Noah and some others.
The other version (אחיחד — to be pronounced as Achichud) occurs in 1 Chronicles 8:7, in a genealogy of Benjamin. It's not exactly clear whose son he is. BDB Theological Dictionary says Ahihud is a son of Ehud, but he might as well be a son of Gera.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahihud
We'll look at the two Ahihuds separately, although we can say that the first part of both versions of the name Ahihud comes from the word אח ('ah), meaning brother, or figuratively friend. With the added letter yod this element is identical to the name Ahi, and means brother of:
The noun אח ('ah) means brother, or more broadly: a fellow member of a social economic node (a "house") within a broader economic whole.
This word's lavish inclusion in names strongly suggests that the deity was reckoned by this word — in modern times we mostly speak of Our Father in Heaven but in antiquity the deity appears to have also been addressed as Our Brother. The New Testament appears to entertain that dynamic in the tenet that the Word is God's Son, and all who have the Word are godly brothers. Also note the similarity with the verb חוה (hawa), to show, tell, make known.
The noun אחוה ('ahawa) means brotherhood and אחות ('ahot) means sister.
As with the similar name Abihud, the sources are divided over the origin of second part of the name Ahihud I. The renowned theologian Gesenius and Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) take it from ידה (yada), meaning to confess or praise.
The related verbs ידה (yada), to praise, and הוד (hod), to be worthy of praise, conjugate into such similar forms that it's often not clear which verb in which tense is used. From the verb ידה (yada), to praise, come:
- The plural noun הידות (huyyedot), meaning songs of praise.
- The noun תודה (toda), meaning confession or praise.
From the verb הוד (hod), meaning to be praise-worthy, comes the noun הוד (hod), meaning splendor, majesty, vigor, glory or honor.
This word ידה is also the root of the name Judah, and Alfred Jones translates this name with Brother Of The Jews. This is rather odd, to say the least, because this name occurs in the Exodus cycle and the people of the tribe of Judah were not yet referred to as Jews. More properly would be Brother Of The Judahites
BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List disagree with Jones and Gesenius and derive the second part of the name Ahihud from הוד (hod), meaning splendor or majesty (as used in the proximate verse Numbers 27:20, as well as in Psalm 8:2 and 21:6). Hence, for a meaning of the name Ahihud I, BDB reads Brother Of Majesty and NOBSE suggests Brother Is Majesty.
🔼The name Ahihud II: Summary
- Brother/ Friend Of Union
- From (1) the noun אח ('ah), brother, and (2) the verb יחד (yahad), to be united.
The origin of the second part of this name is also disputed. NOBSE Study Bible Name List notes no difference between the two versions and reads Brother Is Majesty for both (which is incorrect). BDB lists them separately but doesn't translate this version and notes that this version of Ahihud is "probably" derived from the first version. The valiant Alfred Jones does not agree, and takes the second part of Ahihud II from the verb יחד (yahad), meaning to be united or to join:
The verb יחד (yahad) means to be united or join. Noun יחד (yahad) means union. Adverb יחדו (yahdaw) means together. Adjective יחיד (yahid) means only. Adjective and adverb אחד ('ehad) means one.
Hence Alfred Jones translates this version of Ahihud with Brother/ Friend Of Union.