🔼The names Mash and Meshech: Summary
- Departed, Drawn Out
- From the verb מוש (mush), to depart, or משה (masha), to draw out, or משך (mashak), to draw or drag.
🔼The names Mash and Meshech in the Bible
In Genesis 10:23, Mash is listed as a son of Aram, who is a son of Shem, who is a son of Noah. In 1 Chronicles 1:17 the same genealogy occurs, although the various generations are now all listed as sons of Shem. And Mash is called משך (Meshech). Another man named Meshech is mentioned as a son of Japheth, who is another son of Noah (Genesis 10:2). He is mentioned about half a dozen times in the Bible, mostly along with Javan and Tubal, and it's clear that these are the names of nations rather than individuals (Psalm 120:5, Ezekiel 27:13). Older translations may have the ethnonym "the Moschi" instead of Meshech.
🔼Etymology of the names Mash and Meshech
The name מש (Mash) does not occur as regular word in Hebrew, but it may be viewed as a contraction of the word מוש (mush), meaning depart or remove (or rather: מוש could be viewed as an expansion of an original מש):
The verb משש (mashash) means to feel; to sense or search for tactilely. This verb has no derivatives but does show up in two alternate forms, namely מוש (mush) and מיש (mish).
An assumed whole other verb מוש (mush) or מיש (mish) means to depart or remove, and appears most often in the negative, when something is typically not ambulant but stays where it's at.
Perhaps these two verbs relate in the sweeping or scanning motion that usually accompanies tactile reconnaissance. This same motion could be applied to describe a being footloose or untethered.
But it may just as well be formed from the verb משה (masha), meaning to draw out:
Verb נשא (nasa') describes an upward motion, generally of something that is being pulled up and out so as to remove it. This verb occurs very often and can usually be translated with (1) to lift or lift up, (2) to bear or carry, and (3) to take or take away. An identical verb (or rather the same one used in a specialized way) means to loan on interest. The practice of loaning on interest causes the principal sum to slowly but surely evaporate and was prohibited under Mosaic law. A third identical verb (or again the same one) means to deceive or beguile.
Noun משאת (mas'et) reflects all nuances of the parent verb: uprising (of smoke), uplifting (of hands), utterance (of an oracle), a burden or that what's carried. Noun נשיא (nasi') describes a lifted-up one, i.e. (1) a captain or chief, or (2) a mist or vapor. Note this keenly observed connection between paying interest and being formally governed.
Noun משאה (massa'a), describes clouds. It's spelled the same as the noun משאה (mashsha'a), a loan. (It's also spelled the same as משאה, mesho'a, ruin or desolation, from the whole other verb שוא, shw'). Noun משא (mashsha) means a lending on interest. Noun משאון (mashsha'on) means guile. Plural noun משואות (mashshu'ot) means deceptions.
Noun משא (massa') means (1) a load or burden, or (2) utterance or oracle. Noun שיא (si') means loftiness or pride. Noun שאת (se'et) means dignity, swelling or outburst, a rising-up. This noun is spelled the same as שאת (she't), ruin or devastation, from the verb שאה (sha'a), to be noisy or ruinous.
The verb נשה (nasha) is a specialized form of the previous. It either means to lend on interest or to forget, or rather to have a memory slowly evaporate away. Noun נשיה (neshiya) means forgetfulness or oblivion. Noun נשי (neshi) means debt. Noun משה (mashshe) means loan, and is spelled identical to the following.
Verb משה (masha) means to draw or draw out, and appears to specifically describe a drawing out of waters: to extract from water.
As such the name Mash may even be related to the name Moses and mean Drawn Out, as Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes. Still, Mash is not called Moses but Meshech in 1 Chronicles 1:17.
The clearly related name Meshech comes from the verb משך (mashak), meaning to draw or drag:
The verb משך (mashak) means to draw or draw out. Noun משך (meshek) describes the act of drawing or that which is drawn out (and that obviously covers a lot of things). The noun משכת (mosheket) probably means cord.
Our name Meshech is identical to the noun משך (meshek), meaning a drawing out.
🔼Mash and Meshech meaning
For a meaning of the name Mash, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Drawn Out and relates it to the verb משה (masha). The name Meshech, Jones relates to the verb משך (mashak) and translates it with Drawing Out. NOBSE Study Bible Name List does not translate Mash but reads Extend(ed), or Tall for Meshech.