🔼The name Malluchi: Summary
- Reigning, My King, Kingly
- From the noun מלך (melek), king.
🔼The name Malluchi in the Bible
It may also be that Malluchi is not a personal name but rather an adjective, or more precise: an ethnonym to be translated with "the Malluchites". It's true that the other names in the list of Nehemiah 12 aren't adjectives but perhaps the Malluchites were the only household known as such.
Many commentators equate the Malluchi of Nehemiah 12:14 with the Malluch of Nehemiah 12:2, but there's no real need for that.
🔼Etymology of the name Malluchi
The name Malluchi is one of many derived from the noun מלך (melek), meaning king:
The noun מלך (melek) means king, and a king is not merely a glorified tribal chief but the alpha of a complex, stratified society, implying a court and a complex government.
The Bible insists that a society must be governed by a triad of anointed sovereigns, namely prophets, priests and the king. A good king causes his people to be prosperous and peaceful whereas a bad one causes poverty and strife. The difference between the two is dictated by how close to the Law of Nature (a.k.a. the Word of God) the king operates. A kingdom that is wholly in tune with the Law consists of only sovereign individuals and is thus without a physical king.
An Aramaic cognate verb מלך (malak) means to consult, which confirms that the concept of royalty indeed evolved from wisdom and intellectual prowess rather than brute physical or political strength, as is commonly suggested.
From this noun derives the verb מלך (malak): to be or become king, the nouns מלכה (malka) and מלכת (meleket): queen or court-lady, the noun מלוכה (meluka): kingship or royalty, and the nouns מלכות (malkut), ממלכה (mamlaka) and ממלכות (mamlakut), meaning sovereignty or kinghood.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, most likely marks this name as an adjective: meaning either simply Malluchites or literally Kingly. But technically spoken, the final yod may also create a possessive form, meaning My King.
For a meaning of the name Malluchi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads the same as for Malluch, namely Reigning. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) also equates Malluchi with Malluch, which he too translates with Reigning. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't see the need to propose that Malluch and Malluchi are the same man, but translates neither name yet lists them both under the noun מלך (melek), meaning king.