🔼The name Elishah: Summary
- God Supports
- God Is My Salvation
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb ישה (yasha), to support.
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb ישע (yasha'), to save.
🔼The name Elishah in the Bible
The name Elishah is assigned twice in the Bible:
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Elishah
The name Elishah is a compound of two elements. The first part is אל, the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God.
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The second part is identical to ישה (yshh), an unused Hebrew root:
The verb ישה (yshh) isn't used in the Bible but it may have meant to support or assist. Its only extant derivation is the noun תושיה (tushiya), a relatively rare word meaning skill or craftiness.
Following this etymology, the name Elishah would mean God Supports.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees the remnant of another unused Hebrew root ישה, meaning to set upright, to stand, but then veers off towards an inexplicable meaning that includes the verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to save:
The verb ישע (yasha') means to be unrestricted and thus to be free and thus to be saved (from restriction, from oppression and thus from ultimate demise). A doer of this verb is a savior. Nouns ישועה (yeshua), ישע (yesha') and תשועה (teshua) mean salvation. Adjective שוע (shoa') means (financially) independent, freed in an economic sense.
Verb שוע (shawa') means to cry out (for salvation). Nouns שוע (shua'), שוע (shoa') and שועה (shawa) mean a cry (for salvation).
In fact, for no discernible reason, the majority of translators seem to acknowledge no difference between the names אלישה (Elishah) and אלישע (Elisha), and go with an interpretation that Jerome once submitted: Dei Mei Salvatio, meaning God Is My Salvation.
Perhaps all assume that the name Elisha evolved into Elishah but the meaning didn't evolve along.