🔼The name Menahem: Summary
- From (1) the prefix מ (me), agent of, and (2) the verb נחם (naham), to be sorry or to comfort.
🔼The name Menahem in the Bible
Menahem, son of Gadi, killed king Shallum of Israel a month after his own coup against king Zechariah the son of Jeroboam, and took the throne (2 Kings 15:14). A town called Tiphsah refused to open to him and king Menahem destroyed it and its inhabitants. His especially brutal treatment of pregnant women shows that he was not a very nice guy (2 Kings 15:16).
🔼Etymology of the name Menahem
The name Menahem probably comes from the root נחם (naham), meaning either sorrow, repentance or comfort, depending on the context:
The verb נחם (naham) basically means to be sorry. It may mean to have regret but also to have compassion and often to comfort and console whoever one is sorry for. This verb often describes God's attitude toward mankind.
Noun נחם (noham) means sorrow or repentance. Nouns נחום (nihum) and נחמה (nehama) mean comfort or compassion. Noun תנחום (tanhum) meaning consolation.
The mem with which our name begins is probably due to either the prefix מ (me), which indicates agency, or a grammatical form that is comparable to the English present continuous: expressing a continuation of the verb's action.
For a meaning of the name Menahem, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Comforter. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Consoling, Comforter.
The Greek transliteration of this name, Manaen, occurs in Acts 13:1.