🔼The name Laish: Summary
- From the noun ליש (layish), lion.
🔼The name Laish in the Bible
There is one man and one town named Laish in the Bible:
- The town named Laish was situated near Mount Hermon, in a valley close to Beth-rehob. Apparently, it was originally a colony of anarchical Sidonians, who lived in peace and isolation, until a band of roving Danites descended upon it, slaughtered everyone and burned the city. After that they rebuilt it, named it Dan and lived in it (Judges 18:7, 18:27-29). In Joshua 19:47 a town named Leshem befalls the same fate, and scholars generally assume that Leshem and Laish are the same town. The prophet Isaiah mentions a town Laishah, which some translations call Laish, and some commentators equate with the Sidonian/Danite Laish (Isaiah 10:30)
- The man named Laish is the father of Palti or Paltiel, to whom was given Michal, the daughter of king Saul, as a wife (1 Samuel 25:44). But Michal was already married to David (1 Samuel 18:27), and when he came into power, one of his first deeds as king was to get his wife back. This much to the understandable grief of Paltiel (2 Samuel 3:15, only here spelled לוש, Loish).
🔼Etymology of the name Laish
The name Laish is the same as the noun ליש (layish), meaning lion:
The unused verb ליש (lysh) probably meant to be strong (it does so in cognate language). Noun ליש (layish) is a lesser used one of a few words for lion.
For a meaning of the name Laish, NOBSE Study Bible Name List, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, and BDB Theological Dictionary read Lion.