🔼The name Kishi: Summary
- [One] Of The Snarer[s], Snaring Of Yah
- From (1) the verb קוש (qosh), to lay bait or a snare, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Kishi in the Bible
The name Kishi occurs only once in the Bible. It belongs to a descendant of Merari of Levi, namely the father of Ethan and the son of Abdi (1 Chronicles 6:44). In 1 Chronicles 15:17 we hear about a man named Kushaiah, who also descends from Merari and who also has a son named Ethan. Because the name Kishi (קישי) could be regarded as a truncated form of Kushaiah (קושיהו), these two men are generally considered to be the same person.
🔼Etymology of the name Kishi
The name Kishi looks like it has to do with the verb קוש (qush), meaning to lay bait or lure (or to snare):
The verb יקש (yaqosh) means to lay bait or a snare to catch animals, and over time came to include the figurative "snaring" a person with alluring enticements. Nouns יקוש (yaqosh) and יקוש (yaqush) describe a snarer or fowler. Noun מוקש (moqesh) means either bait or snare. Verb קוש (qush) also means to snare and is probably a by-form of the previous.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (snare-like or someone "of the snare"), a possessive form (my snare), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh. The latter option seems preferable since the expanded version of this name clearly ends with יהו (Yahu).
For a meaning of the name Kishi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to go with the adjective option, and reads Snarer. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) sees the remnant of Yahweh and has Snaring Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret our name and declares its form dubious. BDB lists Kishi under Kushaiah but does not deliberately link it to the verb קוש (qush). Etymologically the two may not be related, but a Hebrew audience would probably interpret these names as if they were.