🔼The name Zechariah: Summary
- Yah Remembers, Yah's Male
- From (1) the verb זכר (zakar), to remember or to review, and (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Zechariah in the Bible
Zechariah is a hugely popular name in the later Bible books. The Zechariah's of the Bible are:
- The son of king Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:29). King Zechariah is assassinated and succeeded by Shallum, son of Jabesh (2 Kings 15:10).
- A certain Reubenite (1 Chronicles 5:7).
- A Levite gatekeeper of the tent of the meeting (1 Chronicles 9:21).
- A Benjaminite whose brother Mikloth became the grandfather of king Saul (1 Chronicles 9:37). This man is called Zecher in 1 Chronicles 8:31.
- A Levite musician in the time of David (1 Chronicles 15:18).
- A priest and trumpeter (1 Chronicles 15:24).
- A Levite from the Kohath branch (1 Chronicles 24:25).
- A Levite from the Merari branch in the time of David (1 Chronicles 26:11).
- A man from Manasseh (1 Chronicles 27:21).
- A teacher in king Jehoshaphat's service (2 Chronicles 17:7).
- A Levite from Asaph's family (2 Chronicles 20:14).
- A son of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:4).
- A son of Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:22).
- A prophet during Uzziah's reign (2 Chronicles 26:5).
- A king of Israel (2 Kings 15:8).
- A man mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 8:2).
- Hezekiah's maternal grandfather (2 Chronicles 29:1).
- A Levite during Hezekiah's reign (2 Chronicles 29:13).
- Another Korahite Levite (2 Chronicles 34:12).
- A temple official in king Josiah's service (2 Chronicles 35:8).
- A postexilic returnee (Ezra 8:3).
- A son of Bebai (Ezra 8:11).
- A man in Ezra's service (Ezra 8:15).
- Another assistant of Ezra (Nehemiah 8:4).
- A son of Elam who divorced his foreign wife (Ezra 10:26).
- A Levite trumpeter (Nehemiah 12:35).
- A priest (Nehemiah 12:41).
- A man of Judah (Nehemiah 11:4).
- Another man from Judah (Nehemiah 11:5).
- A postexilic priest (Nehemiah 11:2).
- And of course the prophet and author of the Book of Zechariah.
In addition to this huge list, in the New Testament we find two men named Zacharias, which is the Greek version of Zechariah (spelled Ζαχαριας), one of which was the victim of a notorious murder referred to by Matthew (23:35) and Luke (11:51). Read our article on the name Zacharias for a closer look at who this might have been.
The name Zaccheus might be a Hellenized version of the Hebrew name Zaccai, which in turn might be a compressed version of Zechariah.
🔼Etymology of the name Zechariah
The name Zechariah consists of two parts. The final bit is יה, the abbreviated form of the Name of the Lord: יהוה (YHWH).
The first segment of the name Zechariah comes from the verb זכר (zakar), meaning to think about or meditate upon:
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.
The name Zechariah literally means Yah Remembers or Remembrance of Yah or even Pondering Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Zechariah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Remembers and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Remembered Of The Lord.
But following zakar's meaning of male, we find for the name Zechariah a secondary meaning of Yah's Male. And that isn't all that weird considering that the name of the archangel Gabriel means God's Guy.