🔼The name Nun: Summary
- Posterity, Fish
- From the verb נון (nun), to propagate or greatly increase.
🔼The name Nun in the Bible
Some translations of the Bible speak of this man as Non (also spelled נון, but pointed slightly different by the Masoretes) in 1 Chronicles 7:27.
🔼Etymology of the name Nun
The name Nun comes from the verb נון (nun), meaning to propagate or increase:
The verb נון (nun) means to propagate or greatly increase. Noun נין (nin) means offspring or posterity.
There's a similar verb used in the Bible: דגה (daga), meaning to multiply or increase. This verb is only used in Genesis 48:16, but its derivatives are ubiquitous and they all have to do with fish: The nouns דג (dag) and דגה (daga) mean fish, דוג (dawwag) means fisherman and דוגה (duga) means fishery. Even the name of the famous idol of the Philistines, Dagon, derives from this root.
According to Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names), there was a fish known in Syriac and Chaldean as נונא (nuna), which is obviously derived from the root נון, and it's not too great a leap to assume that although the root נון isn't used for fish in the Old Testament, it probably was when Hebrew was spoken.
For a meaning of the name Nun, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Alfred Jones assume that נון indeed may have applied to fish and read Fish. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the root נון.