🔼The name Michaiah: Summary
- Who Is Like Yah?
- From (1) the inquisitive particle מי (mi), "who?", (2) the common particle of comparison כ (ke), "like" and (3) the name of the Lord יה (yah).
🔼The name Michaiah in the Bible
The names Michaiah and Micaiah are really quite the same and here at Abarim Publications we can't help wondering how the writers of the English Bible imagined to evoke differences in pronunciation by changing a ch for a c.
- The first time this name occurs is in Judges 17:1 but after the introduction the name is carried on as Micah, and no translation names this man anything else in the first verse.
- Then there is a lady Michaiah who is the wife of king Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 13:2)
- A prophet whose prophecies were not to Ahab's liking (1 Kings 22:8)
- A teacher (2 Chronicles 17:7).
- The father of Achbor, one of king Josiah's adjutants, also known as Abdon and his father Micah (2 Chronicles 34:20 and 2 Kings 22:12).
- A contemporary of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:11 and 36:13, spelled מכיהו, Michaiahu).
- A priest in Nehemiah's time (Nehemiah 12:41).
🔼Etymology of the name Michaiah
The name Michaiah consists of three parts:
1) מי (mi), the common inquisitive particle that seeks after identity: who?
The interrogative pronoun מה (ma) asks "what?" Its counterpart מי (mi) asks "who?" The latter pronoun is spelled the same as the construct-plural form of מים (mayim) and thus also means "waters of ...". Its opposite, namely dry land, signifies certainty and mental footing. A similar particle מו (mo) combines with the usual prefixes to form poetic equivalents of these particles.
2) כ (ke), common particle of comparison: like, as:
כ כי כה
The prefix כ (ke) means "as if" or "like." The particle כי (ki) means "in that," both in the sense of "because" and "when." The adverb כה (koh) means "thus."
3) יה (yah), the abbreviate form of יהוה, or YHWH.
The name Michaiah (Who Is Like Yah) and the name Michael (Who Is Like El) are thus quite similar and it is peculiar why Michael became such a popular name in modern times while Michaiah is largely forgotten. Perhaps this is because of Michael the famous archangel, and the fact that not many people know that the name Micah is the accepted abbreviated form of Michaiah (much like our Bill for William).
'To the Lord our God they will come in dread,
and they will be afraid before Thee.
Who is a God like Thee, who pardons iniquity...?'
— Micah 7:17-18
For a meaning of the name Michaiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Who Is Like Yahweh? Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads the curious Who Is Like Unto The Lord?