🔼The name Hanun: Summary
- Favored, Gratis
- From the verb חנן (hanan), to be gracious.
🔼The name Hanun in the Bible
There are three men named Hanun in the Bible:
- The son and successor of Nahash, king of Ammon (2 Samuel 10:1). Apparently, Nahash had shown kindness to David, and so the latter decides to send a delegation to Hanun, to condole and comfort him concerning the death of his father. But Hanun chooses to ridicule the delegation and mistreat David's men. The Ammonites rightly gather that there's trouble brewing, and muster the troops and hire an Aramean army. When David hears of this, he sends in his army and mighty-men and they defeat the enemy, even after king Hadadezer of Aram joins his countrymen.
- Probably the leader of a contingent from Zanoah who repaired a considerable stretch of Jerusalem wall as well as the Valley Gate (Nehemiah 3:13). There are no further details of this Hanun submitted, and he might be the same as the following.
- The sixth son of Zalaph, who teamed up with Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and repaired a portion of the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:30).
🔼Etymology of the name Hanun
The name Hanun 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.
How the name Hanun would have been perceived by a Hebrew audience is hard to say. Perhaps this name was considered to be an expression of the verb, with the letter ו (waw) thrown in for flavor. Or else it may have been construed as the noun חן (hen), meaning favor or grace, extended with the waw-nun couple to make a personification of it: Grace-Man. Note that our name is identical to the adjective חנון (hannun), meaning gracious.
For a meaning of the name Hanun, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Favored. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Giving For Nought.