🔼The name Koa: Summary
- From the verb קעקע (q'q'), to pull or tear down.
🔼The name Koa in the Bible
The name Koa occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a town of which YHWH aroused the people against Oholibah (= Jerusalem) together with the Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa and all the Assyrians (Ezekiel 23:23).
The renowned Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch identified Shoa and Koa as the cities of Sutu and Kutu on the border of Elam and Media, east of the river Tigris.
🔼Etymology of the name Koa
The name Koa should be expected to come from Assyrian but it's not immediately clear what it might have originally meant. A randomly selected transliterated Assyrian text lights up like a Christmas tree when Googled for "sutu" or "kutu". It appears that the sound of the "u" was greatly favored among Assyrians.
A randomly selected and highly creative Scripture theorist such as your truly, on the other hand, might first of all wonder why Ezekiel reflected the Assyrian name Sutu and Kutu as the semi-monosyllabic Shoa and Koa. Perhaps to make a point? There's nothing in the Hebrew scriptures that resembles קוע (Koa), but perhaps Ezekiel had the verb or noun קעקע in mind:
The verb קעקע (q'q') doesn't occur in the Bible but in post-Biblical Hebrew it means to pull, cut or tear down. In Leviticus 19:28 occurs a masculine noun קעקע (qa'aqa'), which is probably related to our verb. It's usually translated with mark, imprint or tattoo, but it may also refer to ritualistic binding, such as the "artificial cranial deformation" that produced elongated skulls all over the ancient world.
A doubling of an element (in this case קע or קוע) usually works diminishing. So if the noun קעקע denotes artificial cranial deformation, the element קע or קוע would denote complete bulldozing.
None of the sources we commonly consult (or any other one we looked at) dares to propose a meaning of the name Koa. Whatever it may have meant in its original language is a mystery, but to a Hebrew audience it may have meant Squashed.