🔼The name Mesha
There are two different names in the Hebrew Bible that transliterated into English both turn out as Mesha. But in Hebrew these names are spelled different and pronounced different, and they mean different things as well. We'll call them Mesha I (מישא and משא; the difference between these two is the notation of the vowel, י, yod, which doesn't change the meaning) and Mesha II (מישע).
🔼The name Mesha I: Summary
- From the verb מיש (mysh), to depart or remove.
🔼The name Mesha I in the Bible
This version of the name Mesha is ascribed twice in the Bible:
🔼Etymology of the name Mesha I
This version of the name Mesha comes from the verb מיש (mysh) meaning to depart or remove:
The verb משש (mashash) means to feel; to sense or search for tactilely. This verb has no derivatives but does show up in two alternate forms, namely מוש (mush) and מיש (mish).
An assumed whole other verb מוש (mush) or מיש (mish) means to depart or remove, and appears most often in the negative, when something is typically not ambulant but stays where it's at.
Perhaps these two verbs relate in the sweeping or scanning motion that usually accompanies tactile reconnaissance. This same motion could be applied to describe a being footloose or untethered.
🔼Mesha I meaning
For a meaning of this name Mesha, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names both read Retreat.
🔼The name Mesha II: Summary
- Saving, Salvation
- From the verb ישע (yasha'), to save.
🔼The name Mesha II in the Bible
The other version of the name Mesha, מישע, is ascribed to two men in the Bible:
- The first born son of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:42) who was also the father of Ziph.
- A king of Moab, who was buddies with the notorious king Ahab of Israel but not with Ahab's son Jehoram (2 Kings 3:4-5). This king Mesha lost a battle against an alliance between kings Jehoram of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah, and sacrificed his son and would-be successor as a burnt offering to either his deity or the Israelites (2 Kings 3:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Mesha II
The name Mesha written with the ayin looks like it has to do with the verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to be saved or delivered:
The verb ישע (yasha') means to be unrestricted and thus to be free and thus to be saved (from restriction, from oppression and thus from ultimate demise). A doer of this verb is a savior. Nouns ישועה (yeshua), ישע (yesha') and תשועה (teshua) mean salvation. Adjective שוע (shoa') means (financially) independent, freed in an economic sense.
Verb שוע (shawa') means to cry out (for salvation). Nouns שוע (shua'), שוע (shoa') and שועה (shawa) mean a cry (for salvation).
The letter mem, with which our name starts, may come from the participle form, which is used to indicate that the action of the verb is ongoing: Saving, Delivering.
🔼Mesha II meaning
For a meaning of this version of the name Mesha, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Salvation. NOBSE Study Bible Name List makes no distinction between the two versions.