🔼The name Aiah: Summary
- From the noun איה (ayya), falcon, from the verb אוה ('wh), which possibly expressed being desirous.
🔼The name Aiah in the Bible
There are two people in the Bible with the name Aiah, and both are most probably men. The first Aiah we come across is a son of Zibeon, son of Seir the Horite. His brother is called Anah, who famously found hot springs in the wilderness (Genesis 36:24). The second Aiah is the father (and probably not the mother, as Alfred Jones proposes) of Rizpah, the unfortunate concubine of Saul, whose sons were handed over to the men of Gibeon by king David, and subsequently executed (2 Samuel 3:7).
🔼Etymology of the name Aiah
The name Aiah comes from the rich root group אוה ('wh):
There are four different verbs אוה ('wh), which all appear to express a desire or movement toward something. Noun אי ('i) means coast, which has been mankind's preferred place to settle since time immemorial. Nouns או ('aw), מאוי (ma'away), אוה ('awwa) and תאוה (ta'awa) all mean desire. The noun אות ('ot) means mark or sign, and humanity's earliest marks were not to assert private ownership but rather a collective identity: something to draw toward and gather around. Noun אי ('i) means jackal, and noun איה (ayya) means hawk or falcon. These creatures were possibly named after their supplicatory calls, or else their rapturous method of predation.
The conjunction או ('o) means "or." The interjection אי ('i) expresses regret: "alas!" Adverb אי ('i) may serve as a particle of negation ("to be desired" and thus not so), or as an interrogative adverb, meaning "where?", usually in rhetorical questions. The substantive אין ('ayin) expresses negation or nothingness and occurs hundreds of times in the construct מאין (m'ayin), which literally means "from where is not?", as introduction to a rhetorical question concerning something that is true in all known parts of the world: "where isn't it so that such and such, hmm?"
The name Aiah is identical to the feminine noun איה (ayya) meaning hawk or falcon, but that doesn't mean that Aiah has to be a woman. It occurs frequently that masculine names are feminine nouns, and vice versa.
Also note that this name terminates with the familiar יה (yah), which would normally be the abbreviated form of יהוה (YHWH), the name of the Lord.
For a meaning of the name Aiah, BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List both read Falcon. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Merlin or Little Hawk.