🔼The name Hanan: Summary
- Gracious, Merciful
- From the verb חנן (hanan), to be gracious.
🔼The name Hanan in the Bible
The name Hanan is remarkably popular in the Bible. There are up to nine different men by that name but none of them has much of a role:
- A son of Shashak of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:23).
- One of the six sons of Azel, also of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:38, 9:44).
- A son of Maacah and one of David's mighty-men (1 Chronicles 11:43).
- One of the deputies of Ezra, who helped him explain God's Law to the people (Nehemiah 8:7).
- Three different men who signed the sealed document. It's perfectly conceivable that one of these is the same as the previous one or the next (Nehemiah 10:10, 10:22 and 10:26).
- A son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, whom Nehemiah appointed to assist in distributing foods to the Levites (Nehemiah 13:13).
- A son of Igdaliah, "the man of God". During the time of Jeremiah, the sons of this Hanan apparently formed a specialized sub-class or guild in the ranks of the priests. Their duties required a designated room, and in that room Jeremiah addressed the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:4).
Note that the Hebrew name of the godfather of high priesthood Annas was also Hanan.
🔼Etymology of the name Hanan
The name Hanan is obviously derived from the verb חנן (hanan), meaning to be gracious:
The verb חנן (hanan) means to be gracious or to favor. Nouns חן (hen), חנינה (hanina), תחנה (tehinna) and תחנון (tahanun) mean favor or grace. Adverb חנם (hinnam) means freely or gratis, and adjective חנון (hannun) means gracious.
For a meaning of the name Hanan, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Merciful, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Compassionate, and BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Gracious.