🔼The name Aphiah: Summary
- Exhaling, Blowing
- From the verb פוח (puah), to blow or exhale.
🔼The name Aphiah in the Bible
The name Aphiah occurs only once in the Bible. He is listed as an ancestor of Saul, son of Kish, son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1). Nothing further is known about this Aphiah and if it hadn't been for his famous great-great-great-grandson, we probably wouldn't have known about him at all.
🔼Etymology of the name Aphiah
It's unclear where the name Aphiah comes from, or even from which language it stems. Gesenius believed it had to do with an otherwise unused verb אפח (apah), which exists as such in Arabic and which corresponds to the Hebrew verb פוח (puah), meaning to blow or exhale:
The verb נפח (napah) means to blow or exhale forcefully, either in a very positive (to animate) or a very negative way (to mock). Noun מפח (mappah) means a breathing out. Noun מפח (mappuah) describes a bellows. Noun תפוח (tappuah) denotes a kind of fruit or fruit-tree, which was clearly known for its aphrodisiac qualities.
The verb פוח (puah) means to blow or exhale to a point of exhaustion or complete deflation. Noun פיח (piah) describes soot, which is what's left when a fuel is completely exhausted.
For a meaning of the name Aphiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Striving for unclear reasons. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names relates our name to the verb פוח (puah) and proposes a rather curious Rekindled or Refreshed (as our verb means to exhale rather than inhale). BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an explanation of our name and growls "etymology and meaning dubious".