🔼The name Zaccai: Summary
- Yah Remembers
- Pure Of Yah
- From (1) the verb זכר (zakar), to remember or to review, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
- From (1) the verb זכך (zakak), to be pure, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord..
🔼The name Zaccai in the Bible
There's probably only one man named Zaccai in the Bible, although it seems plausible that the name Zaccheus is the Hellenized version of this name. Both Ezra and Nehemiah mention him as the patriarch of 760 regular people (not priests) who returned from the Babylonian exile (Ezra 2:9, Nehemiah 7:14).
The Masoretes believed that the Zabbai mentioned in Nehemiah 3:20 wasn't really called Zabbai but rather Zaccai, but of the modern English translations only the JSP follows that suggestion. The rest of the versions read Zabbai here.
🔼Etymology of the name Zaccai
There is some controversy concerning the origin of the name Zaccai. The scholars who compiled the NOBSE Study Bible Name List believe that Zaccai is short for Zechariah, which consists of יה (yah), which in turn is short for יהוה, or YHWH, and an expression of the verb זכר (zakar), meaning to remember:
The verb זכר (zakar) means to remember, to deliberately review, or to cause to remember or review — by means of public oration, urging and pleading, physical memorials, and so on.
Noun זכר (zeker) means remembrance, memory, memorial or invocation. Noun זכרון (zikkaron) or זכרן (zikkaron) denotes a memorial or token — a memorial day, altar-plates, stones, crowns, books, proof of citizenship, even spoils of war. Noun אזכרה ('azkara) refers to a memorial-offering.
Noun זכור (zakur) and noun and adjective זכר (zakar) mean male. This noun denotes the male of humans and animals, and marvelously illustrates the parallel between sexual reproduction and the learning process, which is so overly prevalent in the Bible.
Other scholars think that our name was derived from the verb זכך (zakak), meaning to be pure:
The verb זכך (zakak) means to be pure or clean. Adjective זך (zak) means pure or clean and the noun זכוכית (zekokit) is the word for glass.
The verb זכה (zaka) is obviously related to the previous and means to be clear.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (purely), a possessive form (my purity), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, or YHWH.
For a meaning of the name Zaccai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reports that Zaccai is "probably a contraction of Zechariah" for which it reads Yahweh Remembers.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names goes with the verb זכך (zakak) and takes the final י (yod) to be short for YHWH and proposes Pure Of The Lord.
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the verb זכך (zakak).