🔼The name Reelaiah: Summary
- Flag Of Yah, Yah Causes To Reel
- From (1) the verb רעל (ra'al), to reel or quiver, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Reelaiah in the Bible
The name Reelaiah occurs only once in the Bible, namely in Ezra 2:2, where Reelaiah is listed among the few most prominent people who joined Zerubbabel's great return from the Babylonian exile. Also among Zerubbabel's closest companions, Nehemiah lists the same men but instead of Reelaiah mentions Raamiah (רעמיה).
🔼Etymology of the name Reelaiah
The name Reelaiah looks like it consists of two elements, of which the final one is יה (Yah), which is an abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The first part of our name seems to derive from the verb רעל (ra'al), meaning to quiver or reel:
The verb רעל (ra'al) describes the movement of a flag or veil in the wind: to quiver or reel. Nouns רעל (ra'al) and תרעלה (tar'ela) means a reeling, and noun רעלה (re'ala) describes a reeler or flag or veil.
For a meaning of the name Reelaiah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Trembling Of The Lord. Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor BDB Theological Dictionary list interpretations of this name.
Since our name is Reelaiah rather than Reeliah, here at Abarim Publications we guess that our name bases on the noun רעלה (re'ala), meaning flag or banner, and refers to a marker of a school of Yahwism. It also reminds of the beautiful line: He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love (Song of Solomon 2:4).