🔼The name Asaph: Summary
- Gatherer, Collector
- From the verb אסף (asap), to gather or collect.
🔼The name Asaph in the Bible
There are four men named Asaph in the Bible, but the most famous Asaph is the author of twelve canonized Psalms (50 and 73 to 80). This Asaph, son of Berechiah, is a Levite from the Gershon family and a choir leader during the reigns of kings David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 15:17).
During the reign of king Hezekiah, Asaph's predicate was raised to seer (2 Chronicles 29:30). A hundred and twenty-eight singing descendants of Asaph return from Babylon with Ezra the reformer (Ezra 2:41), and perform during the dedication of the new temple's foundation (Ezra 3:10).
Less known Asaphs are:
- The father of Joah, king Hezekiah's administrator (2 Kings 18:18).
- A Levite of the Korah branch, assigned to be gatekeeper during the reigns of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 26:1).
- King Artaxerxes' chief forester (Nehemiah 2:8).
🔼Etymology of the name Asaph
The name Asaph is a direct derivative of the verb אסף (asap), meaning to gather or collect:
The verb אסף (asap), means to gather or collect, mostly in reference to harvests, and with a connotation of removal. The nouns noun אסף (osep), אסיף (asip), אסף (asop), אספה (asepa), אספה (assupa) and אספסף (asapsup) all express nuances of the act of gathering, things gathered, collections or storages. Also note the similarities in form with the ספף סוף ספה (spp swp sph) cluster of words, which all have to do with the extraction of one continuum from another.
For a meaning of the name Asaph, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Collector. BDB Theological Dictionary has Gatherer.