🔼The name Mattenai: Summary
- Given, My Gift, Gift Of Yah
- From (1) the noun מתן (mattan), gift, from the verb נתן (natan), to give, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Mattenai in the Bible
There are three men named Mattenai in the Bible, although there are several more by the name of Mattaniah, which is the same name but of a fuller form. The Mattenais of the Bible are:
- The head of the family of Joiarib, during the days of Joiakim, the post-exilic high priest (Nehemiah 12:19).
- One of the sons of Hashum, who had married and divorced their wives during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:33).
- One of the sons of Bani, who had also married and divorced their foreign wives (Ezra 10:37).
🔼Etymology of the name Mattenai
The name Mattenai consists of two elements. The first part comes from the noun מתן (mattan), meaning gift, from the verb נתן (natan) meaning to give:
The shape-shifting verb נתן (natan) means to give in a broad bouquet of senses, from regular giving or bestowing, to setting or putting, to transforming one thing or situation into another.
This verb's three nouns מתן (mattan), מתנה (mattana) and מתת (mattat) all mean gift, again broadly ranging from a regular present to an offering to an innate talent (being "gifted").
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (Giftly or Given), a possessive form (my Gift), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh. Most scholars opt for the latter and equate this name with Mattaniah.
For a meaning of the name Mattenai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Gift Of Yahweh, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the similar Gift Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the verb נתן (natan) meaning to give.