🔼The name Attai: Summary
- Timely, Opportune
- From the verb ענה ('ana), to correspond, be busy with, afflict or sing.
🔼The name Attai in the Bible
There are three men named Attai in the Bible:
- The son of Jarha, the servant of Sheshan of Judah who had been given the daughter of his master for a wife (1 Chronicles 2:35). The Chronicler follows the genealogy of this servant for many generations.
- The sixth captain of a company of Gadites who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:11).
- The son of king Rehoboam of Judah and Maacah, the daughter of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20).
🔼Etymology of the name Attai
The name Attai comes from the root group עתה, and is spelled the same (albeit pronounced slightly different) as the adjective עתי (itti), meaning timely or ready:
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.
For a meaning of the name Attai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Timely and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Opportune, which he explains as "fit, proper time". BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does list it under the root עתה I.