🔼The name Meonothai: Summary
- My Habitations, Habitations Of Yah
- From (1) a plural of the noun מעון (ma'on), hide out or habitation, which probably relates to ענן ('nn), to cover, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Meonothai in the Bible
Possibly motivated by recent Scriptural discoveries, certain modern translations insert the name Meonothai also into the previous verse.
🔼Etymology of the name Meonothai
The name Meonothai consists of two elements. The first part of our name is a plural form of the noun מעון (ma'on), meaning refuge or habitation, from the unused root עון (wn):
The verb ענן ('nn) appears to describe the deriving of solid theories out of hardly related observations. It's used to mean to divine, and noun ענן ('anan) means cloud (which appears like a solid object but is really a bunch of barely relating droplets).
Verb עון ('wn) probably means to conceal or cover. Nouns מעון (ma'on) and מענה (me'ona) refer to the lair, refuge or hideouts of animals, but often too to the habitation of the Creator, which is heaven. And that links this word back to the previous word meaning cloud.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (habitations-like), a possessive form (my habitations), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Meonothai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List sees the final yod as a possessive, and reads My Habitations. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees in the final yod a remnant of YHWH and proposes Habitations Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does list it under the noun מעון (ma'on), meaning refuge or habitation.
Note that the term מעונתי (me'onothai) occurs once more in the Bible, namely in Job 37:8, where it's commonly translated with 'its dens' or 'its [living] places'.