🔼The name Mikneiah: Summary
- Acquired Through Yah
- From (1) the verb קנה (qana), to acquire or create, and (2) יהו (yahu), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Mikneiah in the Bible
There's only one man named Mikneiah in the Bible. He was one of the Levites "of the second rank" who partook in the ceremony surrounding king David's transportation of the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:18). Mikneiah and his colleagues led the procession strumming lyres tuned to sheminith (1 Chronicles 15:21).
Note that our name is really Mikneiahu. The "u" or waw at the end is a very common extension of names that end with יה and most of these names exist in both forms (with and without the final waw). English translations generally choose to ignore the final waw wherever it occurs, and that's why we know this man as Mikneiah and not as Mikneiahu.
🔼Etymology of the name Mikneiah
The name Mikneiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes from the extensive root cluster קנה and קין and קנן:
The verb קנן (qanan) isn't used in the Bible but it appears to tell of the weaving of many strands into a dynamic and interlocked network. These strands may be reeds and twigs that a bird weaves into a nest, or it may be acts of trade and routes of commerce that together combine into a bustling economy. Noun קן (qen) means nest, and verb קנן (qinnen) means to make a nest.
Verb קנה (qana) means to obtain, i.e. to acquire or in some instances to create. It's the regular verb for a commercial purchase. Noun קנין (qinyan) describes an item acquired (or created). Noun מקנה (migneh) means cattle (as unit of commerce). Noun מקנה (miqna) means purchase or purchase-price. Noun קנה (qaneh) denotes some herb on a stalk, or any rod, reed, branch- or stalk-like item (in this sense, a plant "acquires" its branches).
The verb קין (qyn), which isn't used in the Bible, occurs in cognate language with the meaning of to fit together, fabricate or forge (often of metal things). In the Bible occurs only the noun קין (qayin), meaning spear. Note that our modern word "franchise" comes from a word that meant spear, and originally denoted a free man, i.e. one who had the authority to bear arms, own property and thus conduct trade. The earliest republican government of Rome was called curia, literally spear-bearers, and the link between bearing a spear or other such ceremonial weapon and a senatorial government (a government by tribal elders) appears to have been pretty much globally understood throughout history.
Noun קינה (qina) denotes a kind of sad poem; a dirge or lamentation, which both had to be fabricated and could, presumably, pierce a person's soul like a spear (which is an obvious Biblical figure of speech; see Luke 2:35). The denominative verb קונן (qonen) means to do a dirge, which could be either to chant or compose one.
The verb תקן (taqan) means to make or become straight.
All sources we commonly consult derive the name Mikneiah from the verb קנה (qana), meaning to acquire or create, which is a decidedly dynamic enterprise, but translate the segment of our name with "possession," which is a decidedly static affair. Here at Abarim Publications we go with Acquired Through Yah, thinking of what Eve said when she had given birth to Cain: "I have networked together a man through YHWH". Also remember what David said: "You wove me in my mother's womb," which probably refers to the same idea: not simply the forming of some human fetus in some human womb, but rather the unified human take on the knowledge of creation, and thus the Creator, stored in all the words in all the languages in all the stories and art and buildings and technology and science within the whole unified culture of the entire global humanity.
For a meaning of the name Mikneiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Possession Of Yahweh and BDB Theological Dictionary (which indeed lists Mikneiah under the verb קנה) has the similar Possession Of Yah. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the more traditional Possession Of The Lord.