🔼The name Hananiah: Summary
- Yah Has Been Gracious
- From (1) the verb חנן (hanan), to be gracious, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Hananiah in the Bible
It's not clear how many different men named Hananiah there are in the Bible, but their number is quite large. Also taken into account that the name Hanani is probably a truncated form of our name, the name Hananiah is among the most popular names in the Bible. In some cases no genealogical data is submitted about someone named Hananiah, and in that case he may be the same as any other Hananiah of that same period. The Hananiahs of the Bible are:
- One of two sons of Zerubbabel, and the sister of Shelomith (1 Chronicles 3:19).
- One of the sons of Shashak of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:24).
- One of the fourteen sons of Heman, the seer of king David, who were to musically worship in the temple (1 Chronicles 25:4). When the secondary duties are divided, this Hananiah receives the sixteenth lot (1 Chronicles 25:23). Note that verse 23 this name is written with a final waw: חנניהו (Hananyahu), which is the same name.
- One of king Uzziah's officers, who directed the organization of the Judean army for combat (2 Chronicles 26:11).
- One of the sons of Bebai, who had married and divorced foreign wives during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:28).
- A perfumer, who made repairs to the city of Jerusalem at the time of the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 3:8).
- A son of Shelemiah who also made repairs to the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:30).
- A military leader who was put in charge of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, together with Nehemiah's brother Hanani (Nehemiah 7:2). Of this Hanani Nehemiah writes: "he was a faithful man and feared God more than many".
- One of the signers of the sealed document (Nehemiah 10:23).
- A priestly family head of the family of someone called Jeremiah (Nehemiah 12:12).
- One of the priests who played the trumpet during the dedication of the restored wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:41).
- A son of Azzur, and a false prophet from Gibeon, who made the people believe in a lie. He was rebuked by the prophet Jeremiah, and he died within a year (Jeremiah 28:1-17).
- The father of Zedekiah, who was a royal official in the time of Jeremiah and king Jehoiakim of Judah (Jeremiah 36:12). In this case as well our name is spelled with the final waw.
- The grandfather of Irijah, the captain of the guard at the Gate of Benjamin, who arrested Jeremiah on suspicion of his perfidy (Jeremiah 37:13).
- One of the three friends of Daniel (Daniel 1:6). This Hananiah was given the name Shadrach by the Babylonians (Daniel 1:7).
Also note that the name Ananias is possibly the Greek version of the Hebrew name Hananiah. The other candidate is the name ענניה, Ananiah, and the confusion stems from both these names transliterated in Greek being Ανανια.
🔼Etymology of the name Hananiah
The name Hananiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes 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 Hananiah, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Yahweh Has Been Gracious. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes Graciously Given Of The Lord.