🔼The name Baana(h): Summary
- Son Of Response, Son Of Affliction
- From (1) the noun בן (ben), son, and (2) the verb ענה (ana), to response or to afflict.
🔼The name Baana in the Bible
There are three men named בענא (Baana) in the Bible, and three or four more named בענה (Baanah). This particular variation in which the letter ה (he) is replaced with an א (aleph) is not uncommon in the Bible. See for instance the name Ezra(h).
The men named בענא (Baana) are:
- A son of Ahilud and one of the twelve deputies of king Solomon (1 Kings 4:12).
- A son of Hushai and also one of the twelve deputies (1 Kings 4:16).
- The father of Zadok, one of the repairers who worked in Jerusalem during the post-exilic restoration (Nehemiah 3:4).
The men named בענה (Baanah) in the Bible are:
- One of two sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of Benjamin. Baanah and his brother Rechab murder Saul's son Ish-bosheth and proudly bring the head to David. King David thoroughly disproves of such practices and has the two brothers promptly executed (2 Samuel 4:2-9).
- A Netophathite and father of Heleb, one of David's mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:29).
- One of the men who joined Zerubbabel in the second wave of returnees (Ezra 2:2, Nehemiah 7:7), who may or may not be the same as:
- The Baanah who's mentioned among the signers of the covenant (Nehemiah 10:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Baana
The name Baana(h) comes from the root group ענה (ana):
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.
The letter B with which our name opens may either come from the particle beth, meaning in or by, and it may be due to a contraction of our root ana and the common word בן (ben), meaning son (a similar contraction occurs in the name Baalis):
The noun בן (ben) means son, or more general: a member of one particular social or economic node — called a "house", which is built upon the instructions of one אב ('ab), or "father" — within in a larger economy (hence: the "sons of the prophet" are the members of the prophet-class; the prophets). This noun obviously resembles the verb בנה (bana), to build, and the noun אבן ('eben), stone.
Our noun's feminine version, namely בת (bat), means daughter, which resembles the noun בית (bayit), meaning house. Sometimes our noun is contracted into a single letter ב, whose name beth comes from בית (bayit) and means "house" as well. As a prefix, the letter ב (be) means "in." The word for mother, אם ('em), is highly similar to that of tribe or people, אמה ('umma).
For a meaning of the name Baana(h), Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) interprets the ana as an instance of ana I, and the B as short for ben, and reads Son Of Response. BDB Theological Dictionary, similarly, sees the B as remnant of ben, but goes with ana III, and reads Son Of Distress. NOBSE Study Bible Name List seems to view the B as the particle beth but also takes the name Baana from ana III and reads Affliction.