🔼The name Jahmai: Summary
- May Yah Protect, Yah Will Protect
- From the verb חמה (hamam), to protect or surround.
🔼The name Jahmai in the Bible
Jahmai is one of six sons of Tola, who is one of four sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 7:2).
🔼Etymology of the name Jahmai
The name Jahmai comes from the verb חמה (hmh). This verb isn't used in the Bible, but in cognate languages it means to protect, guard or surround:
The verb חמם (hamam) means to be hot and is sometimes used to describe mental agitation. Nouns חם (hom) and חמה (hamma) mean heat. Adjective חם (ham) means hot. The noun חמן (hamman) denotes a kind of mysterious small pillar (perhaps a device?).
The verb יחם (yaham) also means to be hot, but mostly in a mental sense: to be exited or angered. The noun חמה (hema) mostly refers to a severe mental "burning": anger or rage.
The verb חמה (hmh) is not used in the Bible, but in cognate languages it means to surround, guard or protect. Perhaps this verb has nothing to do with the previous and only accidentally looks similar, but perhaps it ties into the fact that natural open fires aren't very warm and smelting metals require sophisticated ovens. Noun חם (ham) means father-in-law and its feminine equivalent, חמות (hamot), means mother-in-law — and note that the Trojan theme of the "girl" kept in the city of her forceful lover is very common in classical literature. Noun חומה (homa) describes a protective wall.
The noun חום (hum) describes a color or pattern of coloration of sheep and goats. It's not clear whether this pattern resembled sparks, fire or enclosures, or perhaps that this word in not related to the previous.
Noun חמת (hemet) means waterskin and may derive from a wholly different verb. Still, the verb נהר (nahar) means both to flow (of water) and to shine (of light) and a waterskin filled with water is not unlike a kiln containing a very warm fire.
For a meaning of the name Jahmai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads May God Protect and BDB Theological Dictionary offers the similar May Yah Protect. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes He Will Be Guarded Of The Lord.