🔼The name Elishaphat: Summary
- God Has Judged
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb שפט (shapat), to judge.
🔼The name Elishaphat in the Bible
The name Elishaphat occurs only once in the Bible. He is a son of Zichri and a captain in service of Jehoiada, the priest whose wife Jehoshabeath had saved prince Joash from assassination by former queen mother Athaliah (2 Chronicles 23:1). Elishaphat and his colleagues round up an army from among Israel, go back to Jerusalem, crown Joash and execute Athaliah.
🔼Etymology of the name Elishaphat
The name Elishaphat consists of two elements, the first one being אל (El), either the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or 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 of our name comes from the verb שפט (shapat) meaning to judge or govern:
The verb שפט (shapat) means to judge or govern. Nouns שפט (shepet) and שפוט (shepot) mean judgment in the penal sense. Noun משפט (mishpat) denotes a ruling in a general sense; an ordinance or even custom or manner.
For a meaning of the name Elishaphat, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Has Judged. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes God The Judge or God Judges, and explains this by adding "i.e. defends him". BDB Theological Dictionary translates this name with God has Judged.