🔼The name Mebunnai: Summary
- Building, Building Of Yah
- From (1) the verb בנה (bana), to build, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Mebunnai in the Bible
The name Mebunnai occurs only once in the Bible. Mebunnai the Hushathite was one of David's mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:27). It's probably reasonable to assume that Mebunnai is the same man as סבכי, or Sibbecai the Hushathite, mentioned in the Chronicler's list of David's mighty-men (1 Chronicles 11:29).
🔼Etymology of the name Mebunnai
The name Mebunnai comes from the verb בנה (bana), meaning to build, or perhaps from the derived noun מבנה (mibneh), meaning structure:
The verb בנה (bana) means to build, mostly of stone buildings and thus of houses and thus of families and dynasties: hence the association between this verb and the nouns אבן ('eben), stone, and בן (ben), son.
Noun בניה (binya) means a building in the sense of a structure. Noun מבנה (mibneh) means building in the sense of place of building. Noun תבנית (tabnit) means building in the sense of the act of building: a construction, pattern or image.
Noun תבן (teben) means straw (the stems of grains), which was inserted into clay to enhance the structural integrity of the building. We do the same today with carbon fibers.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (building-like), a possessive form (my building), 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.
For a meaning of the name Mebunnai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List simply reads Built. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names regards the final י (yod) as a remnant of יהוה and reads Building Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the verb בנה (bana).