🔼The name Vophsi: Summary
- Addition [Of Yah]
- Rich, With (My) Abundance
- From (1) the verb יסף (yasap), to add, increase, or repeat, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
- From the noun פסה (pissa), abundance.
🔼The name Vophsi in the Bible
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Vophsi
The name Vophsi is problematic because it opens with the letter waw and that is highly unusual in Hebrew. In fact, there are only four Hebrew words that start with a waw. BDB Theological Dictionary deems the "text dubious," but leaves the reader to guess at reasons for why we have it then as such.
The letters waw and yod may interchange under certain conditions and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names lunges for the possibility. Jones also goes with his pet-process of permutation; the transposition of the two middle letters of a word. Thus Jones derives this name from the verb יסף (yasap), meaning to add or increase:
The verb יסף (yasap) means to add, increase or do again. It curiously has no [extant] derivatives.
The final letter י (yod) of the name Vophsi, Jones ascribes to a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), the short form of יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh. Altogether, Jones translates the name with Addition (Of The Lord).
If Jones is right and this name is the result of that much tinkering, then it surely also lost its original meaning.
More attractive is the unused root פסס I, which yields the derivative פסה (pissa), meaning abundance or plenty:
The verb פסס (pasas) means to spread out. It may describe covering a broad stretch of space, or a broad spectrum of colors. It may even describe a dissipation into thin air and hence mean to vanish.
The specialized verb פשה (pasa) speaks of the spreading of skin diseases. Noun פס (pas) probably describes versatility in both appearance and applications. Noun פסה (pissa) appears to describe an abundant variety in goods.
The final yod may have replaced the final he of this noun, or else it could be regarded as a possessive. And the waw with which the name opens, well, that could be interpreted as "and" or "with". Altogether the name Vophsi may have sounded like With (My) Abundance to a Hebrew audience.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List seems to think along the same line and reads Rich.