🔼The name Helkai: Summary
- My Portion, Portion Of Yah
- From (1) the noun the noun חלק (heleq), portion, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Helkai in the Bible
The name Helkai occurs only once in the Bible, but scholars generally assume that it's a truncated version of the more popular name Hilkiah. The name Helkai belongs to the chief of the priestly family of Meraioth in the post-exilic days of high priest Joiakim (Nehemiah 12:15).
🔼Etymology of the name Helkai
The core of the name Helkai comes from the noun חלק (heleq), meaning portion:
Verb חלק (halaq I) means to divide and apportion. Noun חלק (heleq I) and חלקה (haluqqa) mean portion, tract of land, even one's mode of life. Noun חלקה (helqa I) means field. Noun מחלקת (mahaloqet) describes a division of some organization.
Verb חלק (halaq II) means to be smooth or slippery, either of items such as stones or speech and flattery. Nouns חלק (heleq II) and חלקה (halaqqa) describe smoothness or seductiveness of speech. Adjectives חלק (halaq) and חלק (halluq) mean smooth. The singular noun חלקה (helqa II) and the plural noun plural noun חלקלקות (halaqlaqqot) may describe smoothness, slipperiness, flattery, or pleasant nonsense.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (portion-like), a possessive form (my portion), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Helkai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to ignore the final yod and simply reads Portion. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees in the final yod a remnant of the name YHWH and proposes Portion Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does suggest that it's "perhaps" an abbreviated form of Hilkiah, for which BDB reads a rather redundant My Portion Is Yah.