🔼The name Arnan: Summary
- Nimble, Strong
- From the verb ארן ('aran), to be agile, aroused or at the center of cheer.
🔼The name Arnan in the Bible
The name Arnan occurs only once in the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 3:21 his sons are listed pretty much at the end of a long genealogy of Solomon. Arnan's sons are descendants of Hananiah, son of Zerubbabel, son of Pedaiah, son of Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, son of Solomon.
🔼Etymology of the name Arnan
The name Arnan comes from the root group ארן ('rn):
The cheerful verb רנן (ranan) means to produce a ringing cry, either out of joyous cheer, distress or to introduce a declaration of some sort. Nouns רן (ron), רנה (rinna) and רננה (renana) all describe ringing cries. Plural noun רננים (renanim) refers to birds that deliver piercing cries.
The unused verb ארן ('aran) appears to have meant to be nimble, agile, or even high up or aroused, and in cognate languages it yields a noun for a kind of wild mountain goat. The indeed Biblical noun ארן ('oren) means fir or cedar.
The noun ארון ('aron) is the word that is usually translated with Ark (that is the Ark of the Covenant, not the Ark of Noah). But this noun is also used for the coffin in which Joseph's bones were repatriated, or the chest in the temple in which money was collected.
It's not clear whether these boxes were known from the wood they were made of (namely the sprightly fir or cedar), caused society to be nimble, agile or elevated, or perhaps because these boxes were designed to exist within a collective verbal expression from bystanders (after the verb רנן, ranan).
The additional nun in the name Arnan is probably a remnant of the waw-nun extension that personalizes or localizes the action of the verb.
For a meaning of the name Arnan, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names follows the proposals of Gesenius and Simonis and reads Nimble. NOBSE Study Bible Name List prefers the second possibility listed above and reads Strong.