🔼The name Mahalalel: Summary
- Praise Of God
- From (1) the noun מהלל (mahalel), praise, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Mahalalel in the Bible
There are two people called Mahalalel in the Bible:
- The famous Mahalalel is the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve after Cain and Abel (Genesis 5:12). Since this Mahalalel is an ancestor of Christ, he is mentioned in the Lucan genealogy (spelled Μαλελεηλ, Maleleel; Luke 3:37).
- The lesser known Mahalalel is mentioned among the descendants of the famous Perez, the son of Judah, or so it seems (Nehemiah 11:4).
🔼Etymology of the name Mahalalel
The name Mahalalel is a compilation of two elements, the second part being אל, the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
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.
The first part of the name Mahalalel is equal to the noun מהלל (mahalel), meaning praise, which comes from the root הלל (halal), meaning to shine or praise:
The verb הלל (halal) means to shine (what exited stars do) or praise and cheer (what exited souls do). It may even denote too much of a good thing: to be raving mad. From the second sense derive: noun הליל (hillul), praise or rejoicing; noun מהלל (mahalel), agent or place of praise, and noun תהלה (tehilla), song of praise. From the third sense come nouns הוללה (holela) and הוללות (holelut), both meaning madness.
For a meaning of the name Mahalalel, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Praise Of God.