🔼The name Mattithiah: Summary
- Gift Of Yah
- From (1) the noun מתת (mattat), gift, from the verb נתן (natan), to give, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Mattithiah in the Bible
The name Mattithiah is moderately popular in the Bible, and it's not always clear whether the Mattithiahs mentioned are different ones or the same. The men named Mattithiah are (and they may overlap somewhat):
- A second rank Levite who was part of the musicians guild at the time when David moved the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:18 and 15:21).
- A son of Jeduthun who played the harp and prophesied as part of their service in the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 25:3 and 25:21). It's by no means impossible that this Mattithiah is the same as the previous one, except that in this instance our name is spelled with a final waw: מתתיהו (Mattithiahu), which is the same name and has the same meaning.
- One of the sons of Nebo, who had married and divorced their foreign wives during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:43).
- One of the men who stood at the right hand of Ezra, as he proclaimed the words of the Law of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:4). This gentleman may very well be the same as the previous one.
🔼Etymology of the name Mattithiah
The name Mattithiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first element of our name is the feminine noun מתת (mattat), meaning gift or reward, derived 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").
For a meaning of the name Mattithiah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Gift Of The Lord and NOBSE Study Bible Name List has the similar Gift Of Yahweh. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the verb נתן (natan) meaning to give.