🔼The name Habazziniah: Summary
- Lamp Of Yah
- He Hides In The Lord's Shield
- A Love That Extends Out Is Yah
- From (1) the noun בוצינא (buzina'), lamp, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb חבה (haba), to hide, (2) the particle ב (be), in, (3) the noun צנה (sinna), a shield, and (4) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb חבב (habab), to love, (2) the verb צנן (sanan), to extend out, and (3) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Habazziniah in the Bible
The name Habazziniah occurs only once in the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah lists him as the father of his namesake Jeremiah, who was the father of Jaazaniah, the chief of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:3).
🔼Etymology of the name Habazziniah
The origin of the name Habazziniah is a mystery, although it ends in the familiar theonym יה (yah), which is short for יהוה or YHWH.
The famous 19th century German theologian Gesenius knew of a Chaldean word בוצינא (buzina'), meaning lamp, and translated our name as Lamp Of Jehovah. The problem here is that the regular Hebrew word for lamp is נר (ner), hence the name Neriah. And the letter ח (h) does not disappear for no reason (it never serves as inconsequential prefix or grammatical nuance), so the link between the word בוצינא (buzina') and our name Habazziniah is really not that strong. Gesenius also refers to the noun חבצלת (habasselet), which describes a kind of plant (see our article on the name Habakkuk for more on this plant), but omits an explanation of how this word might relate to our name.
Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) reports that in his 18th century onomasticon, Simonis derived our name from the term חבה בצן יה but didn't explain where he obtained it and translated it with texit clypeo Dominus, with which he appears to have meant to say "he hides in the Lord's shield," or something to that extend.
The verb חבה (haba) indeed means to hide:
The verb חבא (haba') means to hide, usually out of fear of death. Nouns מחבא (mahabe') and מחבא (mahabo') mean hiding place.
Verb חבה (haba) is probably a variant spelling of the previous and means the same. Noun חביון (hebyon) means a hiding.
Verb חוב (hub) means to be guilty. Noun חוב (hob) means debt.
The element בצן is harder to trace. But perhaps Simonis saw it as a compound of the prefix ב (be), in or because of, and the noun צנה (sinna), which indeed denotes a large shield:
The verb יצא (yasa') describes a divergent motion: to go out or go forth. Noun צאצא (se'esa) means offspring or produce. Noun מוצא (mosa') denotes a place, agent or act of going out: a going forth, an utterance, a source or spring of water, a place of departure, a mine. It's also the word for sunrise. The similar noun מוצאה (mosa'a) means latrine. Noun תוצאה (tosa'a) denotes a full collection of whatever goings-out.
The unused verb צנן (sanan) probably meant something as vague as to be something that extends out, since all extant nouns describe items that go out or have gone out. Nouns צן (sen), צנה (sinna) and צנין (sanin) describe thorns, hooks or barbs. Noun צנה (sinna) means coolness. Noun צנה (sinna) denotes a large shield. Noun צנצנת (sinsenet) denotes a kind of jar (with a wide mouth and narrow neck?).
The noun צאן (so'n) describes a flock of small animals like sheep or goats, which proverbially wanders about and disperses during times of carefree ease.
Since nobody knows and everybody is guessing, here at Abarim Publications we guess that the first part of our name comes from the verb חבב (habab), to love or embrace:
The verb חבב (habab) means to love, to warmly embrace or to passionately hold close. It occurs only once in the Bible, as does the derived noun חב (hob). This noun is commonly translated as "bosom" but the much more common word for bosom is חיק (heq), and the noun חב (hob) is probably more accurately rendered with "embrace".
The accidentally similar verb חבק (habaq) means to embrace in the sense of to huddle together. This verb is much less dynamic and emotional than the previous and emphasizes the search for prolonged collective strength or shelter. The noun חבק (hibbuq) describes a huddling together.
None of the sources we commonly consult offer an interpretation of our name Habazziniah, but Simonis appears to have translated it as He Hides In The Lord's Shield. Here at Abarim Publications we guess that it means A Love That Extends Out Is Yah.