🔼The name Pekah: Summary
- Open-Eyed, Eye-Opener
- From the verb פקח (paqah), to open the eyes or ears.
🔼The name Pekah in the Bible
There's only one man named Pekah in the Bible and he is the murderer and usurper of king Pekahiah of Israel (2 Kings 15:25). Pekah, son of Remaliah, was a royal officer of unspecified duties, who conspired with Argob and Arieh and fifty Gileadites and killed Pekahiah in his palace in Samaria in the fifty-second year of the reign of king Azariah of Judah.
Pekah ended up reigning Israel for twenty years, during which he attacked Judah and besieged Jerusalem, as did king Rezin of Aram (2 Kings 15:37, 16:5). This was during the reign of king Ahaz of Judah, who was unrighteous, and during whose reign many of his people were taken into Aramean exile (1 Chronicles 28:5). King Pekah of Israel attacked Ahaz and killed 120,000 men of Judah in one day and abducted a further 200,000 and took them to Samaria (28:6, 28:8). Still, Isaiah reports that Pekah was unable to sack Jerusalem (Isaiah 7:1).
Also during Pekah's reign, king Tiglath-pileser of Assyria invaded the land of Naphtali in Israel's north and began what would be the Assyrian wholesale deportation of Israel (2 Kings 15:29). Pekah himself was murdered by Hoshea son of Elah. At that time king Jotham of Judah had reigned twenty years.
Note that the name Pekah and the name Pekahiah, belonging to his royal predecessor, stem from the same verb and that these are the only two names that come from this verb.
🔼Etymology of the name Pekah
The name Pekah derives from the verb פקח (paqah), to open the eyes or ears:
The verb פקח (paqah) means to open the eyes or ears, to be physically able to see or hear, which is the first step toward understanding and obeying. The adjective פקח (piqeah), means "opened" in the sense of seeing (or hearing).
For a meaning of the name Pekah, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Opening (Of The Eyes). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Open-Eyed.