🔼The name Bakbukiah: Summary
- Yah Has Emptied
- From (1) the verb בקק (baqaq), to be empty, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Bakbukiah in the Bible
There is only one man named Bakbukiah in the Bible, and he is mentioned three times by Nehemiah. Bakbukiah was the assistant manager of Mattaniah, son of Mica, who was the leader in the post-exilic effort to bring the thanksgiving service back to life (Nehemiah 11:17). Mattaniah and Bakbukiah also served as gatekeepers, who kept watch over the storage facilities in the various gates of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:25).
🔼Etymology of the name Bakbukiah
The name Bakbukiah consists of two elements; the final part being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
The first part of the name Bakbukiah comes from the בקק (baqaq) to be or become empty:
Verbs בקק (baqaq) and בוק (boq) mean to be or become empty (of items, lands, etc.). Nouns בוקה (buqa) and מבוקה (mebuqa) both mean emptiness. Noun בקבק (baqbuq) means flask.
A second verb בקק (baqaq) means to be luxuriant and may either be imported from a cognate language or else refer to a proverbial wealth of bottles to empty.
There was probably also a verb בקה (baqa) that meant to search, scout out or examine, with a similarly spelled noun meaning gnat. Perhaps the link with the previous was accidental but perhaps the erratic flight of the gnat reminded observers of vainly criss-crossing an emptied land in search of something that was no longer there. Or perhaps the gnat was proverbial for something that required careful straining (see Matthew 23:24).
For a meaning of the name Bakbukiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List proposes Yahweh Has Poured Out, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the peculiar Emptying Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does confirm that it comes from בקק.
The first part of our name is virtually identical to the noun בקבק (baqbuq), meaning flask. So literally our name would mean Flask Of The Lord. That would be a nonsensical interpretation, and the noun בקבק really rather denotes "a little bit of a whole lot," a celebratory nomen. Here at Abarim Publications we believe that this name expresses gratitude to the Lord for supplying an abundance of something: Quantum Of The Lord's Generosity.