🔼The name Hushai: Summary
- Hasty, Hasting Of Yah
- From (1) the verb חוש (hush), to hurry or hasten, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Hushai in the Bible
There's only one man named Hushai in the Bible. Hushai the Archite was a friend of David, who infiltrated the court of Absalom in order to turn events in favor of David (1 Samuel 15:32). He opposes the advice of Ahithophel concerning a plan to pursue and defeat David (2 Samuel 17:7). When Absalom accepts Hushai's advice to not attack, Ahithophel goes home and strangles himself (2 Samuel 17:23). Hushai (if this is the same man) remains in the favor of the royal family, because when Solomon rules, one of his twelve deputies is Baana, a son of Hushai (1 Kings 4:16).
🔼Etymology of the name Hushai
The name Hushai comes from the root group חוש (hush):
The verb חשש (hashash) means to hurry, or rather to be light-footed and hence quickly moved. Noun חשש (hashash) describes chaff, which proverbially is so light that a breath of wind carries it off swiftly.
Likewise, verb חוש (hush) means to hurry or hasten. Adverb חיש (hish) means quickly.
This verb חוש (hush) may also be used to mean to be agitated, worried or enjoyed. Although some dictionaries demand that this concerns a second, identical verb, it probably isn't and simply describes the situation that arises when people are "inspired" by either joy or fear, break composure and ride their emotions like chaff does wind.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (hasty), a possessive form (my haste), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Hushai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List takes it to be an adjective and reads Hasty. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) sees in the final yod the mark of the divine, and reads Hasting Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret this name but does list it under the root group חוש (hush).