🔼The name Ishvah: Summary
- He Is Equal
- From the verb שוה (shawa), to be smooth or even.
🔼The name Ishvah in the Bible
There's only one Ishvah (or Ishuah as the King James and the Young translation have it) in the Bible. He is listed as one of the sons of Asher — the eighth son of Jacob and second of Zilpah — and was one of the sixty-six proto-Israelites to make the transition from Canaan to Goshen in Egypt (Genesis 46:17, 1 Chronicles 7:30). Ishvah plays no further role in the Bible.
🔼Etymology of the name Ishvah
The name Ishvah is probably an active form of the verb שוה (shawa), meaning to be even, agree with or resemble:
The verb שית (shyt) means to give, set or place firm. Noun שית (shyt) refers to occupational garb, the dress upon which the profession stands. Noun שת (shat) describes a national foundation; whatever a nation is set on. Noun שית (shayit) collectively describes a kind of plant (perhaps a bottle tree?).
Noun שת (shet) probably also derives from this verb, and appears to refer to human buttocks. It's not often emphasized but our buttocks truly signify our species (apart from our brain). No other animal has buttocks like man, and this handsome feature allows humans to trot literally for days. Given time, humans can outrun pretty much any other animal (including horses and antelope.)
The noun שי (shay) may or may not be related to the previous verb. It denotes a devotional offering made to the Temple by foreigners.
The verb שאה (sha'a) means to roar loudly, and that with destruction in mind. Noun שאון (sha'on) describes the roaring sound of wild waters or armies converging. Noun שאוה (sha'awa) denotes a devastating storm. Nouns שאיה (she'iya) and שאת (she't) mean ruin.
The unused verb שוא (shw') clearly must have meant something similar to the previous. Noun שוא (shaw') means emptiness or nullification. Nouns שוא (shw'), שואה (sho'a), שאה (sho'a), משואה (mesho'a) and משאה (mesho'a) mean ravage, ruin and desolation. Noun תשאה (teshu'a) denotes a sound, probably loud and accompanying destruction.
Verb שוה (shawa) means to be smooth and hence to agree with or to be like. Noun שוה (shaweh) describes a level plain.
Either this same verb or an identical other one means to set or place, and is clearly similar to שית (shyt).
Noun שה (seh) denotes a sheep or goat. This word appears to be like our word "head" as it describes a unit of whatever flock or herd. This noun is sometimes spelled alternatively as שי (shay).
Verb שתה (shata) means to drink. Nouns שתי (sheti) and שתיה (shetiya) mean a drinking. Noun משתה (mishteh) describes a place of or occasion of dinking: a banquet feast.
For a meaning of the name Ishvah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads He Is Equal. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes He Will Be Equal, Alike, Level, and notes that this name also occurs in various other languages: Similis in Latin, or Ισος (Isos) in Greek.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation of the name Ishvah, but does list it under the verb שוה I (shawa I), meaning to be even, agree with or resemble.