🔼The name Ananiah: Summary
- Cloud Of Yah, Yah Has Covered
- From (1) the noun ענן ('anan), cloud, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Ananiah in the Bible
The name Ananiah is applied to one man and one town in the Bible, and both are mentioned in the book of Nehemiah. Ananiah the man is the grandfather of Azariah, son of Maaseiah, who carries out repairs on his own house and the surrounding areas (3:23). Ananiah the town is listed among the cities that become home of the many Benjaminites who return from exile (11:32).
🔼Etymology of the name Ananiah
The name Ananiah consists of two elements. The first element comes from the root group ענן:
The verb ענן ('nn) appears to describe the deriving of solid theories out of hardly related observations. It's used to mean to divine, and noun ענן ('anan) means cloud (which appears like a solid object but is really a bunch of barely relating droplets).
Verb עון ('wn) probably means to conceal or cover. Nouns מעון (ma'on) and מענה (me'ona) refer to the lair, refuge or hideouts of animals, but often too to the habitation of the Creator, which is heaven. And that links this word back to the previous word meaning cloud.
The second part of the name Ananiah 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 Ananiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Covered. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Cloud Of the Lord, but adds the explanation "whom the Lord covers or guards".