🔼The name Chenaniah: Summary
- Yah Has Established, Yah Is Firm, Established Of The Lord
- From (1) the verb כנן (kanan), to be set up, fixed or established, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Chenaniah in the Bible
There appear to be two men named Chenaniah in the Bible (although this name is spelled the same as the name Conaniah; just pronounced slightly different, according to the Masoretes. The composers of the Septuagint long before them, however, used the same transliteration into Greek for both names, so it's quite likely that these two names were exactly the same to the Hebrews of Biblical times):
- The chief of the Levites, who was in charge of the singing during king David's proper transportation of the Ark of the Covenant, from the house of Obed-edom the Gittite to the tabernacle in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:22).
- An Izharite (which is a member of the Levitical subclass by that name) whose sons and he were assigned "outside duties for Israel" in the organization of the temple services (1 Chronicles 26:29).
It may be that the first Chenaniah is the same as the second, but then this person was somehow demoted from being king David's chief vocalist to captain coat rack. Note that this name is spelled with the final waw (כנניהו) in 1 Chronicles 15:22 and 26:29 but without it in 15:27 (כנניה).
🔼Etymology of the name Chenaniah
The name Chenaniah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes from the verb כנן (or, as some insist, from the kindred verb כון), meaning to be firm or established:
Root כנן (kanan) and hence verb כון (kun) mean to set, establish, fix, and so on. Nouns כן (ken), מכונה (mekona) and מכנה (mekona) denote a base or pedestal, noun מכון (makon) describes some fixed or established place, and noun תכונה (tekuna) means place or arrangement. Noun כון (kawwan) expresses a sort of ritualistic or sacrificial setup.
Adjective כן (ken) means right, true or honest, and adverb כן (ken) expresses confirmation: "thus" or "so". Verb כנה (kana) means to give a title or epithet or cognomen. Slightly unexpected, the noun כן (ken) denotes a gnat; the sort of proverbially plaguy insect that appears in huge swarms.
For a meaning of the name Chenaniah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Has Established. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Established Of The Lord. And BDB Theological Dictionary has Yah Is Firm.