🔼The name Anaiah: Summary
- Yah Has Answered, Afflicted Of Yah
- From (1) the verb ענה ('ana), to correspond, be busy with, afflict or sing, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Anaiah in the Bible
The name Anaiah occurs twice in the Bible, both times in the book of Nehemiah, and so these two Anaiahs may very well be the same one. He's mentioned first among the seven chief explainers who assisted Ezra the reformer in conveying the Law to the people (Nehemiah 8:4). Anaiah is also listed among the signers of the new covenant (Nehemiah 10:22).
🔼Etymology of the name Anaiah
The name Anaiah consists of two elements. The first part of the name comes from the enormous root group ענה ('ana):
There are four verbs of the form ענה ('nh), or perhaps one verb with four distinct usages:
Verb ענה ('ana I) means to answer, respond or correspond, and since in the old world time was considered a cycle, noun עת ('et) means time. Temporal adverb עתה ('atta) means now; adjective עתי ('itti) means timely or ready, and conjunction יען (ya'an) means on account of. Noun מענה (ma'aneh) means an answer and noun ענה ('ona) means cohabitation.
Verb ענה ('ana II) means to be busy or occupied with. Noun ענין ('inyan) means occupation or task, and noun מענה (ma'ana) means place for or agent of a task.
Verb ענה ('ana III) means to afflict, oppress or humble. Noun ענו ('anaw) refers to the poor, afflicted or needy. Noun ענוה ('anawa) means humility. Noun ענות ('enut) means affliction. Adjective עני ('ani) means poor or afflicted. Noun עני ('oni) means affliction or poverty, and noun תענית (ta'anit) means humiliation.
Verb ענה ('ana IV) means to sing.
The second part of the name Anaiah is the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Anaiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Answered. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Answer Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate.
Note that the form עניה occurs three other times, as feminized versions of the adjective אני ('ani), meaning wretched or poor (Isaiah 10:30), or afflicted (Isaiah 51:21 and 54:11). Our name could very well also be interpreted as such, or even as Afflicted Of Yah, as an obvious paraphrasing of Isaiah's famous Messianic statement מכה אלהים ומענה (Isaiah 53:4); the final word being of the same root as our word אני ('ani).