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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names


By Jeff A. Benner

And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. (RSV, Daniel 1:7)

Many of us are familiar with the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but these Persian names were given to three Hebrews who originally had Hebrew names, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The name חנניה (hha-nan-yah, Strong's #2608) is a combination of the verb חנן (hha-nan, Strong's #2608) meaning "to protect." When these words are combined the name means "Yah protects."

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