🔼The name Ahlai: Summary
- O Would That!, Ah My Desire!, Ah For Yah's Sake!
- From (1) the verb אחל ('hl), which probably expressed an outburst of desire, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Ahlai in the Bible
Most sources will state that Ahlai is a male's name only, and occurs twice, namely as the father of Zabad, one of king David's might men (1 Chronicles 11:41), and as the son of Sheshan (1 Chronicles 2:31). But the word ben, usually meaning son, may also be used to indicate general offspring, including daughters (see the name Ben). In 1 Chronicles 2:34 it says that Sheshan had no sons, only daughters, and so this Ahlai must be female.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahlai
The name Ahlai is proposed to come from an unused root אחל ('hl):
What the unused verb אחל ('hl) may have meant isn't clear, but from it derives the expletive אחלה ('ahlah), meaning "ah that ... !".
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (such-and-such-like), a possessive form (my such and such), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh.
All and all it's pretty safe to conclude that the name Ahlai expresses a heartfelt wish.
In an attempt to translate this name, BDB Theological Dictionary reads O! Would That!. NOBSE Study Bible Name List has the similar O Would That!. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names offers the positively cryptic Oh That! Would To God!