🔼The name Berechiah: Summary
- Blessed By Yah
- From (1) the verb ברך (barak), to kneel or to bless, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Berechiah in the Bible
The name Berechiah is quite popular in the Bible, although in Hebrew it is mostly spelled ברכיהו (Berechiahu). The Berechiahs of the Bible are:
- A son of Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:20).
- The father of Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:39).
- A son of Asa (1 Chronicles 9:16).
- A Levite gatekeeper at the time of king David's transportation of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 15:23).
- A son of Meshillemoth and chief of Ephraim during the time of king Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:12).
- A son of Meshezabel and father of Meshullam, who worked at the post-exilic restoration of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:4).
- The son of Iddo and father of the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1) who might be the same as the Barachias (Βαραχιας) mentioned in Matthew 23:35, but see our article on the name Zacharias for a discussion.
🔼Etymology of the name Berechiah
The name Berechiah consists of two elements. The final part is 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 Berechiah comes from the verb ברך (barak), meaning either to kneel or to bless:
The verb ברך (barak) mostly means to bless and sometimes to kneel. But the noun ברך (berek) always means knee, and the noun ברכה (beraka) always means blessing. The opposite of to bless is to curse, or ארר ('arar), which literally means to bind or restrict.
That probably means that the act of blessing had to do with the act of giving someone the freedom to do whatever this person had in their heart to do. The freely moving knee, after all, makes it possible to walk and run and go wherever one wants.
For a meaning of the name Berechiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Blessed By Yahweh. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Blessed Of The Lord. And BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Yah Blesseth.