🔼The name Jehiel: Summary
- El Lives
- From (1) the verb חיה (haya), to live, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Jehiel in the Bible
The name Jehiel is surprisingly popular in the Bible. Depending on which source we consult, there are between eight and eleven different men named Jehiel:
- A Levite from the Merari branch (1 Chronicles 15:18), by some (erroneously) considered the same as the next Jehiel:
- A Levite from the Gershon branch (1 Chronicles 23:8). In 1 Chronicles 26:22 this man appears to be called Jehieli (יחיאלי), but a possibly better interpretation would be: "the sons of the Jehielite and Zetham and Joel his brother were in charge of ..".
- A son of Hachmoni and tutor of David's sons (1 Chronicles 27:32).
- A son of king Jehoshaphat of Israel and brother of king Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:2).
- A Levite and son of Heman, who assisted during the reform of king Hezekiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 31:13) In 29:14 this man is called Jehuel (יחואל).
- A temple official under king Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:8).
- A descendant of Joab and father of Obadiah, who was one of the leaders during the return from Babylon (Ezra 8:9), by some considered to be the same as the next Jehiel:
- The son of Elam and the father of Shecaniah, one of the men who married and divorced foreign wives (Ezra 10:2), probably the same as Jehiel son of Elam mentioned in Ezra 10:26, and by some considered to be the same as the next one:
- The son of Harim, who also divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:21).
🔼Etymology of the name Jehiel
The name Jehiel consists of two parts. The first part comes from the verb חיה (haya), meaning to live:
The verb חיה (haya) means to live and life is all about resonance between elements — molecules working together to make a living cell, cells working together to make a living organism and human minds working together to make a living nation.
Adjective חי (hay) means living and adjective חיה (hayeh) means lively. Noun חיה (hayya) means life or living thing, and may also be used to describe a vibrant community. Plural noun חיים (hayyim) literally means livings but describes the whole palet of activities a living being engages in: one's making-a-living.
The letter yod with which the name begins may be seen as an activation of the verb: he lives or will live.
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
For a meaning of the name Jehiel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Lives. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names renders the slightly more proper He Lives Of God, and BDB Theological Dictionary suggests May El Live. Jones relates the name Jehiel to the name Eve, but here at Abarim Publications we dispute this. See our article on that name.