🔼The name Vaniah: Summary
- Unclear but perhaps Weak or Yah Is Praise
- Unclear but perhaps from an Arabic verb meaning to be weak, or from the verb ידה (yada), to praise, or perhaps from יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Vaniah in the Bible
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Vaniah
There are very few Hebrew words that start with the letter waw so this name is hard to figure out. BDB Theological Dictionary even deems the "text dubious". Perhaps, as NOBSE Study Bible Name List advocates, the final part is equal to the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn is the abbreviated form of יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh. If that is so then what's left of the name doesn't occur in Hebrew. The letters waw and yod sometimes interchange, but even then, there's nothing to go with. Undeterred however, NOBSE reads Yahweh Is Praise, deriving it presumably from the same verb ידה (yada), meaning to praise, which also formed the name Judah:
The related verbs ידה (yada), to praise, and הוד (hod), to be worthy of praise, conjugate into such similar forms that it's often not clear which verb in which tense is used. From the verb ידה (yada), to praise, come:
- The plural noun הידות (huyyedot), meaning songs of praise.
- The noun תודה (toda), meaning confession or praise.
From the verb הוד (hod), meaning to be praise-worthy, comes the noun הוד (hod), meaning splendor, majesty, vigor, glory or honor.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names declares the existence of an unused root נוה (wnh), but which apparently exists in Arabic, meaning to be weak or torpid. Hence Jones reads Weak.