🔼The name Melchi: Summary
- My King, Royal
- From the noun מלך (melek), king.
🔼The name Melchi in the Bible
There are two men named Melchi in the Bible and both are mentioned only in the Lucan genealogy of Christ through David's son Nathan. One is the great-great-grandfather of Joseph, Jesus' father-by-law (Luke 3:24) and the other is the great-grandfather of Zerubbabel, the leader of the massive repatriation movement of Jews from Babylon (Luke 3:28).
🔼Etymology of the name Melchi
Although we have the name Melchi only in Greek, it's obviously a transliteration of a common Hebrew name, which would be spelled מלכי. And that name would be based on 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 Hebrew name would end, may either create an adjective (king-like, or royal), a possessive form (my king, or king of), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh.
Note that our name could easily be a truncated form of any of a substantial group of well-known Hebrew names, from Malchiel to Melchizedek.
The name Melchi means My King or Royal.