🔼The name Ishi
There are two completely different Hebrew names that accidentally became transliterated into English as Ishi. We'll call them Ishi I (אישי) and Ishi II (ישעי) and treat them separately.
🔼The name Ishi I: Summary
- My Man, My Husband
- From איש ('ish), man or husband.
🔼The name Ishi I in the Bible
There's a bit of a debate on whether Ishi is actually a true name. It occurs only in one scene in the Bible, in Hosea 2:16-17, where the word אישי is usually interpreted as a symbolic Divine name, as is Baali; both from the series of symbolic names that also contain Ammi and Ruhamah of 2:1.
🔼Etymology of the name Ishi I
The name Ishi is identical to the phrase 'my husband' (literally 'my man') as used in Genesis 29:32 (and on), 2 Samuel 14:5 and 2 Kings 4:1, and that's because the word איש ('ish) is one of a few words for man:
The verb אנש ('anash) appears to emphasize the weakness of the human individual and mankind's consequent tendency to clan up and have strength in numbers first and then in social stratification. It either means to be weak or even to be sick, or it swings the other way and means to be friendly and social. It yields the important noun אנוש ('enosh), man or human male individual who is weak yet social.
In the Bible, societies are feminine (and maternal) and although some scholars insist on a whole other but identical root, the noun אשה ('isha) means woman or wife. And again perhaps from a whole other root or perhaps the same one, the noun איש ('ish) means man, or rather man of; man in some specific function such as "man of war" or "man of the earth." It's also the common word for husband.
Since societies form around central fires (or the "purifying light" of wisdom, which is where the metaphor comes from), the noun אש ('esh), fire, may also derive from this verb.
There's only a small difference between the words אישי (ishi) and בעלי (ba'ali) as both are used to mean my husband. But (ba'ali) is more an authoritative title; it may also mean my master or my lord. The word (ishi) simply means my man, which may denote one's equal husband or a man one has employed.
🔼Ishi I meaning
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't treat this name but NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads My Husband. BDB Theological Dictionary also doesn't treat this Ishi, but notes that the name ישי (Jesse) is spelled אישי (Ishi) in 1 Chronicles 2:13.
🔼The name Ishi II: Summary
- Salvation, Salvific
- From the verb ישע (yasha'), to save.
🔼The name Ishi II in the Bible
This version of the name Ishi occurs four times in the Bible, twice in Judah (1 Chronicles 2:31 and 4:20), once in Simeon as the father of the men who destroyed the Amalekites (1 Chronicles 4:42) and one in Manasseh (1 Chronicles 5:24).
🔼Etymology of the name Ishi II
This name comes from the verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to save or deliver:
The verb ישע (yasha') means to be unrestricted and thus to be free and thus to be saved (from restriction, from oppression and thus from ultimate demise). A doer of this verb is a savior. Nouns ישועה (yeshua), ישע (yesha') and תשועה (teshua) mean salvation. Adjective שוע (shoa') means (financially) independent, freed in an economic sense.
Verb שוע (shawa') means to cry out (for salvation). Nouns שוע (shua'), שוע (shoa') and שועה (shawa) mean a cry (for salvation).
🔼Ishi II meaning
This version of the name Ishi means Salvation according to Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Salutary, but since that word means more than only bringing or aiding salvation, a more proper rendering would be Salvific.