🔼The name Pelaiah: Summary
- Yah Is Wonderful, Distinguished Of Yah
- From (1) the verb פלל (palal), to distinguish or discern, or perhaps rather פלא (pala'), to be extraordinary, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Pelaiah in the Bible
There are two men named Pelaiah in the Bible, although their names are spelled slightly different in Hebrew. They are:
- One of seven sons of Elioenai, who was a descendant of Solomon (1 Chronicles 3:24). His name is spelled without the aleph: פליה.
- One of the proto-rabbis who helped Ezra the Reformer explain the Law to the returnees (Nehemiah 8:7). This Pelaiah is probably the same as the one who was among the signers of the Sealed Document (Nehemiah 10:10). Both these Pelaiahs are spelled with the aleph: פלאיה.
🔼Etymology of the name Pelaiah
The name Pelaiah consists of two elements, the final one being יה (Yah), which is an abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name comes from either the verb פלה (pala), meaning to be distinguished, or the verb פלא (pala'), meaning to be wonderful:
Root פלל (palal) is all about distinguishing and discerning, and often emphasizes representation of something unseen or not present. It's frequently used in the sense of to entreat or pray on someone's behalf.
Noun תפלה (tepilla) means prayer. Noun פליל (palil) describes an inspector or umpire and noun פלילה (pelila) refers to the place at which an umpire operates; a judge's office. Adjective פלילי (pelili) means "for a judge" or "to be judged" and noun פליליה (peliliya) means verdict or assessment. Noun פול (pol) means beans (and was probably imported but fits right in).
Verb פלה (pala) means to be distinct or separated. Pronoun פלני (peloni) refers to "a certain person/place."
Verb פלא (pala') means to be extraordinary. Nouns פלא (pele') and מפלאה (mipla'a) refer to extraordinary things or deeds. Adjective פלאי (pil'i) means extraordinary.
Verb אפל ('pl) means to disappear, depart or set (of the sun). Nouns אפל ('opel), אפלה ('apela), מאפל (ma'apel) and מאפליה (ma'pelya) mean darkness. Adjective אפל ('apel) means gloomy. Adjective אפיל ('apil) means late or belated (i.e. long unseen).
Verb נפל (napal) means to fall (down, down to, into or upon). The plural form נפלים (napalim) literally means 'fallen ones' or 'settled ones'.
Noun נפל (nepel) refers to an abortion or untimely birth. Noun מפל (mappal) describes that what falls. Nouns מפלה (mappala) and מפלה (mappela) mean ruin, and noun מפלת (mapplet) refers to a ruined thing or a falling.
For a meaning of the name Pelaiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the verb פלא (pala') and reads Yahweh Is Wonderful.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derives it from the verb פלה (pala) and reads Distinguished Of The Lord.
BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of either form of the name Pelaiah but does lists both under the verb פלא (pala'), meaning to be wonderful.