🔼The name Johanan: Summary
- Yah Is Gracious
- From (1) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord, and (2) the verb חנן (hanan), to be gracious.
🔼The name Johanan in the Bible
The name Johanan is quite popular in the Bible. There are nine men in the Bible who bear that name, but there are also ten more men with the name יהוחנן (Jehohanan), which is essentially the same name, but a longer version of it. The men named יוחנן (Johanan) are:
- A captain of the forces of Judah, son of Kareah (2 Kings 25:23).
- A son of king Josiah (1 Chronicles 3:15).
- A son of Elioenai (1 Chronicles 3:24).
- A high priest, father of Azariah (1 Chronicles 6:9).
- One of David's mighty-men (1 Chronicles 12:4).
- A Gadite officer of David (1 Chronicles 12:12).
- A returned exile (Ezra 8:12).
- A postexilic high priest (Nehemiah 12:22).
- One of the sons of Kareah who joined Ishmael on his visit to the Babylonian governor Gedaliah (Jeremiah 40:8). This Johanan secretly returned to Gedaliah in order to warn him about Ishmael's murderous plans, but to no avail (Jeremiah 40:13). After Ishmael succeeded in killing Gedaliah, Johanan and his men chased him. Ishmael got away but Johanan did manage to free a group of his captives (Jeremiah 41:14). Later, Johanan and many of his followers ignore the words of YHWH spoken by Jeremiah, and flee to Egypt.
This name is also the source of the English name John, as John is a transliteration of the Greek name Ioannes, which in turn is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Johanan.
🔼Etymology of the name Johanan
The name Johanan consists of two elements. The first part is יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which is the shortened form of the appellative יהוה, which is YHWH, the Name of the Lord.
The final part of the name comes from the verb חנן (hanan), meaning to be gracious:
The verb חנן (hanan) means to be gracious or to favor. Nouns חן (hen), חנינה (hanina), תחנה (tehinna) and תחנון (tahanun) mean favor or grace. Adverb חנם (hinnam) means freely or gratis, and adjective חנון (hannun) means gracious.
For a meaning of the name Johanan, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Gracious. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names does not treat Johanan separately and refers to the name Jehohanan, which Jones takes to mean The Lord Graciously Gave.