🔼The name Hakupha: Summary
- Decree's Edge, Mouth Of Desire
- From an Arabic verb that means to bend one's self.
- From (1) the noun חק (hoq), decree, and (2) the noun פה (peh), mouth.
🔼The name Hakupha in the Bible
There is only one man named Hakupha mentioned in the Bible, namely an ancestor of a group of Nethinim (temple servants) who returned from the Babylonian exile together with Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Ezra 2:51, Nehemiah 7:53). Nothing else is known about this Hakupha or his family.
🔼Etymology of the name Hakupha
The meaning of the name Hakupha is not immediately clear. The renowned linguist Gesenius proposed that it stemmed from an otherwise unused verb חקף (hatap), meaning to bend one's self, that exists in Arabic. But this verb may or may not have existed in Hebrew, and even if it did, a Hebrew-speaking audience might be forgiven to recognize in our name two much more common elements:
The first part of our name looks like the noun חק (hoq), engraving or decree, or more general: something desired or demanded:
The verb חקק (haqaq) basically means to bring closely near (the way a paraphrase "approaches" an original), but is in practice used to mean to decree or to engrave (since decrees were published by engraving them in stone). That means that God's laws are not means to subdue to but rather means to bring close. To obey someone means to slavishly comply, but to love someone means to generously give. The same difference exists between falling into someone's hands, and falling into someone's arms.
Nouns חק (hoq) and חקה (huqqa) both describe something desired or demanded; statements that express the wishes of an authority, whether a political authority such as a king or government, or an intellectual authority such as a teacher.
Noun חיק (heq) means bosom; the upper torso in which one's breath and voice coincide. Where the belly served as the seat of one's emotions and instincts, the noun חיק (heq) describes a hollow container in which one's conscious intent, one's reason and concerns are stored. Hence the idiom of bringing someone or something into one's bosom.
The second part of our name reminds of the noun פה (peh), mouth, or פאה (pe'a), edge, or even the adverb פא (pa'), here:
The verb פאה (pa'a) means to cleave or break apart (what one does with a sword) and the derived noun פאה (pe'a) means corner or side.
Apparently related to the above is the otherwise inexplicable noun פה (peh) or פו (po) or פי (pi), meaning mouth. This word has a somewhat greater compass than its English counterpart, and also includes the edge of a sword (hence the sword protruding from the white horseman's mouth; Revelation 19:15). This word may also be used to mean extremity or end, which brings it in close proximity to the noun פאה (pe'a), corner or side.
A second word of similar form is the adverb פה (poh), which means here or hither. This adverb is alternately spelled פו (po) and פא (pa').
For a meaning of the name Hakupha, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the Arabic verb and reads Crooked. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names likewise has Bent. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name.
A creative Hebrew audience might understand our name to mean Decree's Edge or Mouth Of Desire.