🔼The name Shisha: Summary
- From the element שש (shesh), which denotes several whitish items, and particularly the noun שיש (shayish), alabaster.
🔼The name Shisha in the Bible
The name Shisha occurs just once in the Bible. He is the father of two scribes of king Solomon, namely Elihoreph and Ahijah (1 Kings 4:3). In 1 Chronicles 18:16 we learn about a man named Shavsha (שושא), whose name is spelled quite similar to that of Shisha, and who is also a royal scribe. Many scholars assume that this is the same man.
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Shisha
The name Shisha is not a common word in Hebrew but in Aramaic exists a word which is spelled identical but (according to the Masoretes, more than 1000 years after the story was written in its present form) pronounced slightly different, which means Alabaster. And since this name isn't a common Hebrew word, a Hebrew audience might have assumed relations to the following word group:
There's an odd correlation between the color white and the number six. The nouns שש (shesh) and שיש (shayish) mean alabaster, which is a whitish translucent material. The identical word שש (shesh) means six. The noun שושן (shushan) describes the lily, which has six leaves and is proverbially white. The adjective ישש (yashesh) or ישיש (yashish) means old or white-haired.
The relatively rare verb שוש (sus) or שיש (sis) means to exult or rejoice, and its nouns ששון (sason) and משוש (masos) mean exultation, joy or gladness. Despite their similarity to the previous, these words seem to have little to do with the number six or being white, which is possibly why these words were pointed differently in the Middle Ages (the previous words have sh-sounds while these words have s-sounds).
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, however, derives this name from Syrian words and reads Habitation. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Distinction for no submitted reason.