🔼The name Zenan: Summary
- Place Of Flocks
- From the noun צאן (so'n), a flock, perhaps from the verb יצא (yasa'), to go out or forth.
🔼The name Zenan in the Bible
The name Zenan occurs only once in the Bible. It belongs to one of the cities in the lowland of Judah at the time of the division of Canaan. We don't hear of this place anymore, which isn't all that unusual, but it may or may not be the same as the Judaic town of Zaanan mentioned by Micah (Micah 1:11).
🔼Etymology of the name Zenan
The name Zenan (צנן) could be a contracted form of Zaanan (צאנן) in which case it probably comes from the noun צאן (so'n), meaning flock. But it may very well also come from the roots צנן (snn):
The verb יצא (yasa') describes a divergent motion: to go out or go forth. Noun צאצא (se'esa) means offspring or produce. Noun מוצא (mosa') denotes a place, agent or act of going out: a going forth, an utterance, a source or spring of water, a place of departure, a mine. It's also the word for sunrise. The similar noun מוצאה (mosa'a) means latrine. Noun תוצאה (tosa'a) denotes a full collection of whatever goings-out.
The unused verb צנן (sanan) probably meant something as vague as to be something that extends out, since all extant nouns describe items that go out or have gone out. Nouns צן (sen), צנה (sinna) and צנין (sanin) describe thorns, hooks or barbs. Noun צנה (sinna) means coolness. Noun צנה (sinna) denotes a large shield. Noun צנצנת (sinsenet) denotes a kind of jar (with a wide mouth and narrow neck?).
The noun צאן (so'n) describes a flock of small animals like sheep or goats, which proverbially wanders about and disperses during times of carefree ease.
For a meaning of the name Zenan, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names go with the noun צאן (so'n) and translate Zenan as Place Of Flocks (while both read Rich In Flocks for Zaanan).
BDB Theological Dictionary neither offers an interpretation of our name nor lists it under any particular root.