🔼The name Cainan: Summary
- Acquirer, Networker
- From the verb קנן (qanan), to weave into dynamic networks.
🔼The name Cainan in the Bible
The occurrence of the name Cainan in Luke 3:36 and 3:37 as the son of Arpachshad is a bit of a mystery, albeit a contested one. The original genealogy of Genesis 11:13 does not contain this Cainan but the Septuagint does. Hence critics conclude that Luke used the flawed Septuagint and copied its mistakes into his gospel.
But, note others, this Cainan fellow only occurs in later versions of the Septuagint. Older copies follow the genealogy of the Book of Genesis accurately. And it's then concluded that both the Septuagint version that Luke used and Luke's original gospel never contained Cainan the son of Arpachshad, and this name was erroneously inserted into both at later dates.
Only when archeology and Scripture Theorists were able to determine which version was the oldest, was the original discovered, but up until this present day, the gospel of Luke contains an extra Cainan.
🔼Etymology of the name Cainan
The gospel of Luke uses the same Greek spelling to write the name of Cainan the son of Arpachshad and Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth (Luke 3:37; Genesis 5:9). Both names apparently come from the verbal cluster קנה ,קין and קנן:
The verb קנן (qanan) isn't used in the Bible but it appears to tell of the weaving of many strands into a dynamic and interlocked network. These strands may be reeds and twigs that a bird weaves into a nest, or it may be acts of trade and routes of commerce that together combine into a bustling economy. Noun קן (qen) means nest, and verb קנן (qinnen) means to make a nest.
Verb קנה (qana) means to obtain, i.e. to acquire or in some instances to create. It's the regular verb for a commercial purchase. Noun קנין (qinyan) describes an item acquired (or created). Noun מקנה (migneh) means cattle (as unit of commerce). Noun מקנה (miqna) means purchase or purchase-price. Noun קנה (qaneh) denotes some herb on a stalk, or any rod, reed, branch- or stalk-like item (in this sense, a plant "acquires" its branches).
The verb קין (qyn), which isn't used in the Bible, occurs in cognate language with the meaning of to fit together, fabricate or forge (often of metal things). In the Bible occurs only the noun קין (qayin), meaning spear. Note that our modern word "franchise" comes from a word that meant spear, and originally denoted a free man, i.e. one who had the authority to bear arms, own property and thus conduct trade. The earliest republican government of Rome was called curia, literally spear-bearers, and the link between bearing a spear or other such ceremonial weapon and a senatorial government (a government by tribal elders) appears to have been pretty much globally understood throughout history.
Noun קינה (qina) denotes a kind of sad poem; a dirge or lamentation, which both had to be fabricated and could, presumably, pierce a person's soul like a spear (which is an obvious Biblical figure of speech; see Luke 2:35). The denominative verb קונן (qonen) means to do a dirge, which could be either to chant or compose one.
The verb תקן (taqan) means to make or become straight.
Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) maintains that the name Kenan is the same as Cain, and translates both with Possession. But the name Kenan is not identical to that of Cain, because it has an extra nun. Sometimes a nun is added to a verb to indicate a personification (verb + nun = guy who does the verb) but that personification is usually accomplished by means of the waw-nun combination.
Alfred Jones looks at the related name Kenite and feels there is a relation with the verb קנן (qinnen), meaning to make a nest. That would give our names the meaning of Nester.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fixed for both Cainan and Kenan, apparently relating them to the acquiring/creating verb.