🔼The name Mahath: Summary
- Grasping, A Snatcher Upper
- From the verb חתה (hata), to snatch up, or the verb חתת (hatat), to deplete.
🔼The name Mahath in the Bible
There are two men named Mahath in the Bible:
- A Levite from the branch of Kohath, a son of Amasai and an ancestor of Heman the Temple singer, who was appointed by king David (1 Chronicles 6:35).
- Another Kohathite Levite, whose father was also named Amasai. This Mahath lived during the time of king Hezekiah, about six-hundred years after the first Mahath (2 Chronicles 29:12). This Mahath was part of a group of overseers who regulated the flow of contributions and tithes (2 Chronicles 31:13).
🔼Etymology of the name Mahath
The name Mahath probably has to do with the verb חתה (hata), meaning to snatch up or seize:
The verb חתת (hatat) means to deplete of strength, courage, willpower or any essential support, which results in a collapse of sorts. Nouns חת (hat), חתת (hatat), חתה (hitta), חתחת (hathat) and חתית (hittit) describe the various nuances of debilitating or paralyzing terror or fear. The identical adjective חת (hat) means shattered or dismayed. Noun מחתה (mehitta) means destruction, ruin or terror.
The verb חתה (hata) means to seize or snatch up, usually of fire or coals. Noun מחתה (mahta), meaning fire pan or censer.
For a meaning of the name Mahath, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Grasping. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) declares that our name is an abbreviation of a non-occurring noun מחתה (mahta), and reads Seizing. BDB Theological Dictionary confirms the possible relation to the not used noun מחתה and proposes Thing Seized.