🔼The name Isshiah: Summary
- Yah Exists, Existence Is Yah
- Gift Of Yah, Yah Makes A Devotional Gift
- Yah Causes [Iniquity] To Be Forgotten
- From (1) the particle of existence יש (yesh), and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb שית (shyt), to give, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb נשה (nasa), to forget, and (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Isshiah in the Bible
There are five different men named Isshiah (also transliterated as Ishija or Jesiah) in the Bible:
- One of five sons of Izrahiah son of Uzzi of Issachar (1 Chronicles 7:3).
- One of the earlier wave of Mighty Men who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:6). Here the name Isshiah is spelled ישיהו (Isshiahu); it's common for -yah-names to also exist in the -yahu variant.
- One of two sons of Uzziel son of Kohath son of Levi (1 Chronicles 23:20), whose son was named Zechariah (1 Chronicles 24:25).
- The leader of the sons of Rehabiah of Levi (1 Chronicles 24:21).
- One of the sons of Harim, who had married foreign wives and pledged to divorce them during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:31).
🔼Etymology of the name Isshiah
There are several ways to explain the name Isshiah, although everyone agrees that it terminates in the familiar theonym יה (yah), which is short for יהוה or YHWH.
The first element of our name is harder to place. The most obvious candidate would be the particle of existence, יש (yesh):
The word יש (yesh), marks existence and can often simply translated as "there is" or "there are". On rare occasions it occurs as a noun, where it demonstrates existence opposed to nothingness.
Hence for a meaning of the name Isshiah NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Exists, and although this seems like a perfect fit, it really isn't. The Judaism of antiquity was not a religion like Christianity as we moderns know it. Within a Christian tradition it's perfectly valid to ponder the proposed existence of the deity, and its opposite the non-existence of the deity. In antiquity, however, this would have been a wholly absurd idea, like pondering the existence of space or that of mathematics or history or poetry.
To the ancients, YHWH was not a god like Zeus in that you couldn't see him and had to "believe" in him. YHWH was much rather Whatever Comes Before Observable Reality, Produces Observable Reality And Maintains Observable Reality (Colossians 1:16-17). Since Observable Reality is, well, rather obviously observable, the quest to know the nature of the Creator (Who or Whatever that might turn out to be) equals the question of how creation works. A similar twin duality occurs in the command to (a) love God, and (b) love one's neighbor, since loving the Creator is achieved by loving one's neighbor (rather than trying to conjure up warm feelings for an incomprehensible deity).
In summary: the core activity of Judaism is not the belief in the existence of an invisible Creator but rather the study of nature (1 Kings 4:33, Romans 1:20). One possible alternative interpretation of our name could be Existence Of Yah, not in the sense of discussing Yah's existence (which is absurd), but in the sense that all existence is due to Yah's creative activity and all reality is Yah's property.
Another way of arriving at our name Isshiah is via the verb שית (shyt), to give or set, or more specifically the noun שי (shay), meaning a devotional gift:
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.
Hence Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Gift Of The Lord. The objection here is that our noun שי (shay) specifically denotes the contribution that non-Jewish societies have made to mankind's growing knowledge of the Word of God (after all, only about half of the Nobel prizes go to Jews; the other half goes to the goy). That means that our name would rather mean Yah Makes A Devotional Gift, which of course would tie into the idea that the Word was not somehow mined or achieved by mankind but rather given (Deuteronomy 30:11, John 3:16).
A third way to arrive at our name is through the verb נשה (nasa), and particularly its imperfect form, which drops the leading נ (n), as in Job 11:6: ישה לך אלוה מעונך, "God lets a part of your iniquity to be forgotten":
Verb נשא (nasa') describes an upward motion, generally of something that is being pulled up and out so as to remove it. This verb occurs very often and can usually be translated with (1) to lift or lift up, (2) to bear or carry, and (3) to take or take away. An identical verb (or rather the same one used in a specialized way) means to loan on interest. The practice of loaning on interest causes the principal sum to slowly but surely evaporate and was prohibited under Mosaic law. A third identical verb (or again the same one) means to deceive or beguile.
Noun משאת (mas'et) reflects all nuances of the parent verb: uprising (of smoke), uplifting (of hands), utterance (of an oracle), a burden or that what's carried. Noun נשיא (nasi') describes a lifted-up one, i.e. (1) a captain or chief, or (2) a mist or vapor. Note this keenly observed connection between paying interest and being formally governed.
Noun משאה (massa'a), describes clouds. It's spelled the same as the noun משאה (mashsha'a), a loan. (It's also spelled the same as משאה, mesho'a, ruin or desolation, from the whole other verb שוא, shw'). Noun משא (mashsha) means a lending on interest. Noun משאון (mashsha'on) means guile. Plural noun משואות (mashshu'ot) means deceptions.
Noun משא (massa') means (1) a load or burden, or (2) utterance or oracle. Noun שיא (si') means loftiness or pride. Noun שאת (se'et) means dignity, swelling or outburst, a rising-up. This noun is spelled the same as שאת (she't), ruin or devastation, from the verb שאה (sha'a), to be noisy or ruinous.
The verb נשה (nasha) is a specialized form of the previous. It either means to lend on interest or to forget, or rather to have a memory slowly evaporate away. Noun נשיה (neshiya) means forgetfulness or oblivion. Noun נשי (neshi) means debt. Noun משה (mashshe) means loan, and is spelled identical to the following.
Verb משה (masha) means to draw or draw out, and appears to specifically describe a drawing out of waters: to extract from water.
Hence, BDB Theological Dictionary, although without offering a translation, lists our name under the verb נשה (nasa). Following BDB's direction, this name would translate as Yah Causes [Iniquity] To Be Forgotten.