🔼The name Alvan: Summary
- From the verb עלה ('ala), to rise.
🔼The name Alvan in the Bible
The name Alvan occurs only once in the Bible. In Genesis 36:23 he is listed among the sons of Shobal, son of Seir the Horite. In 1 Chronicles 1:40 this man is called עלין (Alian), which is only slightly different.
The same alternation in spelling occurs with the name of Alvan's brother Shepho/Shephi.
🔼Etymology of the name Alvan
The name Alvan comes from the following root group, but scholars don't agree which root exactly:
Root עלל ('alal) describes to go up, or to make to go up.
Verb עלל ('alal I) means to repeatedly deal harshly with someone lower or weaker. Noun עוללות ('olelot) means a gleaning and the denominative verb עלל ('alal) means to glean. Nouns עלילה ('alila), עליליה ('alilya), מעלל (ma'alal) and תעלולים (ta'alulim) describe acts of wantonness or repeated self-indulgence: acts of being spoiled.
Hence noun עולל ('olel) means child and the denominative verb עלל ('alal II) means to act like a child (Isaiah 3:12). Verb עלל ('alal III) means to insert or thrust in. Noun על ('ol) means yoke, and (rather grim) noun עליל ('alil) means furnace or crucible.
Verb עול ('ul I) means to feed an infant. Noun עול ('ul) describes a suckling; a very young child. Verb עול ('ul II) means to deviate from or act unjustly (to be childish, but in an ethical sense). Nouns עול ('awel) and עולה ('awla) mean injustice, unrighteousness, and denominative verb עול ('ul) means to act wrongfully. Nouns עויל ('awil II) and עול ('awwal) mean unjust one and may simply refer to a young child.
The ubiquitous verb עלה ('ala) means to go up or ascend, and particle על ('al) denotes any kind of elevation or motion towards someone or something and is commonly translated as "on" or "upon". Noun and adjective עליון ('elyon) means high(est) or upper. Adjective עלי ('illi) means upper. Noun עליה ('aliya) refers to a roof chamber. Preposition מעל (ma'al) means upward, on top of, or above. Noun מעלה (ma'ala) refers to that what comes up, i.e. thoughts. The identical feminine noun מעלה (ma'ala) means step or stair. Noun עלה ('ola), meaning ascent or stairway and may be used to denote a whole burnt offering. Noun מעלה (ma'ala) means ascent. Noun מעל (mo'al) describes a lifting.
Noun עלה ('aleh) refers to a tree's leafage. Noun עלי ('eli) refers to a pestle or crucible. Noun תעלה (te'ala) describes a water-course and the identical noun תעלה (te'ala) means healing.
Our name seems to be constructed of the word על and the familiar extension ון, which personifies or localizes the root. Alvan means על-Man.
For a meaning of the name Alvan, NOBSE Study Bible Name List takes the על-part from the root עלה ('ala), meaning to ascend, and reads Tall. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees connections with the verb עול ('ul), meaning to be unjust, and reads Unrighteous. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate this name, but does list it under the root עלה ('ala).