🔼The name Ahoah: Summary
- Brotherly, He Howled
- Perhaps from the noun אח ('ah), brother, or rather the verb אחח ('ahah), to howl.
🔼The name Ahoah in the Bible
The only person in the Bible who bears the name Ahoah is a son of Bela, the first-born of Benjamin, who is also called Ahijah (1 Chronicles 8:4, compare with 8:7). This Ahoah fathered a tribe, called the Ahohites, and the Ahohites mentioned in the Bible are Dodo, Dodai and Zalmon, who is also known as Ilai.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahoah
The origin of the name Ahoah is unclear and the various sources do not agree. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) and BDB Theological Dictionary are quick to assume that the name Ahoah is an alternate form of Ahijah, because the only Ahoah in the Bible is also called Ahijah. The proposition is that the name Ahoah consists of (1) the word אח ('ah), meaning brother, and (2) יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which is an abbreviated form of the name of the Lord: YHWH. Hence Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates this name with Brother Of The Lord and BDB Theological Dictionary reads the similar Brother Of Yah.
However, the name Ahoah is spelled with waw-heth and not with waw-he, and that makes a lot of difference. So much even that a relation between the two is far from obvious and not certain at all. In fact, it's really quite doubtful.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List decides to simply ignore the second part of the name, seems to equate this name with Ahi or Ahian and reads Brotherly, from אח ('ah), meaning brother:
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.
In our main article on the noun אח ('ah) we touch upon the mysterious root אחח ('ahah), which means to howl or yack. One derivative of this root is the noun אח ('oah), which denotes some kind of animal; which animal is unknown.
It's a long shot but perhaps this root relates to the word for brother via the notion that an economic node can only be separated from the economy at large via some sort of code or symbol via which inclusion is demonstrated. The repeated utterances of certain animals function as just that: to determine who's a trusted group member and who's a potentially dangerous outsider. Human traits such as fashion and etiquette, which are essentially rather random and arbitrary demands, are precisely that: ways to determine who's from around here and who's from far away.
Our name Ahoah may have reminded a Hebrew audience of the word for brother and seemed to have meant Brotherly. But more so it would have reminded of the call of a certain animal, and taken to mean He Howled.