🔼The name Ehi: Summary
- Brotherly, My Brother
- From the noun אח ('ah), brother.
🔼The name Ehi in the Bible
The name Ehi occurs only once in the Bible (although it's spelled the same as the name Ahi), namely as a son of Benjamin according to Genesis 46:21, and one of the sixty-six proto-Israelites to make it to Goshen in Egypt.
The name Ehi doesn't occur anywhere else in the Bible and it's been suggested that this Ehi is the same as Ahiram, son of Benjamin mentioned in Numbers 26:38, or the Aharah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:1, or the Aher mentioned in 1 Chronicles 7:12, or even the Ehud mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:6. This remains conjecture, however, and any discussion of this conundrum would hinge on the question of why a man would have so many different names.
🔼Etymology of the name Ehi
The name Ehi appears to come from the word אח ('ah), meaning brother:
The noun אח ('ah) means brother, or more broadly: a fellow member of a social economic node (a "house") within a broader economic whole.
This word's lavish inclusion in names strongly suggests that the deity was reckoned by this word — in modern times we mostly speak of Our Father in Heaven but in antiquity the deity appears to have also been addressed as Our Brother. The New Testament appears to entertain that dynamic in the tenet that the Word is God's Son, and all who have the Word are godly brothers. Also note the similarity with the verb חוה (hawa), to show, tell, make known.
The noun אחוה ('ahawa) means brotherhood and אחות ('ahot) means sister.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (brother-ly), a possessive form (my brother), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh, and form Brother (Friend) Of Yah.
For a meaning of the name Ehi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the adjective and reads Brotherly. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees in this name a possessive form and proposes My Brother. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation of this name and lists it alphabetically and not below a particular root.