🔼The name Zanoah: Summary
- Rejected, Stinking
- From the verb זנח (zanah), to reject or to stink.
🔼The name Zanoah in the Bible
There are two places called Zanoah mentioned in the Bible, both in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah; one in the lowlands (Joshua 15:34) and one in the hills (Joshua 15:56).
In 1 Chronicles 4:18 we read that the mysterious Jehudijah bore Jekuthiel, the father [probably the major or founder] of Zanoah. His brother Heber was the father of Socoh, which was also a town in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:35), which in turn makes it plausible that Jekuthiel's Zanoah was the one in the lowlands as well.
Nehemiah mentions a man named Hanun who joined the inhabitants of Zanoah in repairing the Valley Gate (Nehemiah 3:13). It's not clear which of the two Zanoahs these people hailed from, but in Nehemiah 11:30 we learn that some of the sons of Judah lived in Zanoah (only here spelled זנח, Zanah), as well as in Adullam, Zorah and Jarmuth, which were all villages in the lowlands (Joshua 15:33-35), which makes it likely that this Zanoah was also the one in the lowlands.
🔼Etymology of the name Zanoah
The name Zanoah appears to derive from the verb זנח (zanah), meaning to reject or to stink:
The verb זנח (zanah) means to reject, mostly because of a strong dislike or disapproval. Perhaps a specialized usage of this verb or else a whole separate but identical verb (which occurs only once) describes to stink offensively.
For a meaning of the name Zanoah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with זנח (zanah I) and reads Rejected. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names), on the other hand, prefers זנח (zanah II) and proposes Stinking. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name but does list it under זנח (zanah II), in apparent agreement with Jones.