🔼The name Janai: Summary
- Answerer, He Answers
- From the verb ענה ('ana), to correspond, be busy with, afflict or sing.
🔼The name Janai in the Bible
Janai is mentioned only once in the Bible. All we know of him is that he is a Gadite living in Bashan (1 Chronicles 5:12).
🔼Etymology of the name Janai
The name Janai comes from the enormous root group ענה ('ana):
There are four verbs of the form ענה ('nh), or perhaps one verb with four distinct usages:
Verb ענה ('ana I) means to answer, respond or correspond, and since in the old world time was considered a cycle, noun עת ('et) means time. Temporal adverb עתה ('atta) means now; adjective עתי ('itti) means timely or ready, and conjunction יען (ya'an) means on account of. Noun מענה (ma'aneh) means an answer and noun ענה ('ona) means cohabitation.
Verb ענה ('ana II) means to be busy or occupied with. Noun ענין ('inyan) means occupation or task, and noun מענה (ma'ana) means place for or agent of a task.
Verb ענה ('ana III) means to afflict, oppress or humble. Noun ענו ('anaw) refers to the poor, afflicted or needy. Noun ענוה ('anawa) means humility. Noun ענות ('enut) means affliction. Adjective עני ('ani) means poor or afflicted. Noun עני ('oni) means affliction or poverty, and noun תענית (ta'anit) means humiliation.
Verb ענה ('ana IV) means to sing.
The name Janai is any of the verbs ana made active: he will ana.
For a meaning of the name Janai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Answerer. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) makes a few very large assumptions. First he seems to find that God is the object and secondly Jones either assumes that where one person answers, somebody else must be listening, or that the person who answers must have been listening in the first place. Hence Jones reads The Lord Hears. But this is very far off par. A more proper interpretation would be He Answers.