🔼The name Imla: Summary
- He Will Utter, He Will Full
- From the verb מלא (male'), to be full.
🔼The name Imla in the Bible
There's only one Imla(h) in the Bible and we know about him because of his famous son: the prophet Micaiah, who was brave enough to proclaim the true but negative word of YHWH to king Ahab of Israel, while many of his colleague prophets spoke favorable lies (1 Kings 22:9).
The debate concerned Ahab's plans to engage the Arameans and situation escalated when the false prophet Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, challenged Micaiah and struck him on the cheek (1 Kings 22:24). Ahab chose to listen to Zedekiah, went to war and was killed (1 Kings 22:37).
The author of the Book of Kings spells the name of Micaiah's father with a final he: ימלה; Imlah, but the Chronicler spells it with a final aleph: ימלא; Imla'.
🔼Etymology of the name Imla
The name Imlah appears to be an active form of either of the verbs מלל (malal) or מלא (mala'):
The root מלל (malal) relates to the cycle of harvest, storage and redistribution. Various derivative forms emphasize the various stages: the severing of something from its natural origin, or its subsequent storage in dedicated facilities, or the redistribution or overflowing from those facilities.
Verb מלל (malal) may be used to mean to utter or say (and the speaking of the mouth equals the overflowing of the heart). Noun מלה (milla') describes an uttering. Noun מלילה (melila) describes an ear of wheat.
This verb may also emphasize the languishing and withering of whatever was cut off, in which case it has a more common by-form, namely אמל ('amal). Adjectives אמלל ('amelal) and אמלל ('umlal) both mean feeble.
This verb may also be used to mean to circumcise, in which case it has a more common by-form, namely מול (mul). This latter verb comes with a second by-form, namely מהל (mahal), which actually mostly means to weaken.
The verb מלא (male') means to be full, speaking mostly of a storage facility that's been filled with whatever was extracted from the land that produced it. It may also describe a river that's overflowing, or a person who acts from the contents of his heart. Nouns מלא (male') and מלאה (mele'a) mean fullness.
Nouns מלאה (millu'a) and מלאת (mille't) denote the filling of gold with jewels and nouns מלא (millu') and מלוא (millu') describe a setting or installing of monumental stones or the ordination of priests.
For a meaning of the name Imla(h), NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fullness and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has He Will Fill Up. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret the name Imlah but does list it under the verb מלא (mala'), meaning to fill or fulfill.