Haven’t had many linguistic musing posts lately, so I thought I’d post something about me. (Not egotistical at all.)
Learning Hebrew has (rightly) made me return to words I accepted as “true” in meaning to rediscover if my first sense was accurate.
One of these has been my own name.
My name – Zachary – is a modern Hebrew-to-English version of the name “Zachariah” (which appeared probably in the late 13th century) which then is a version of “Zechariah” (which preceded the Zach- form slightly). Yet all of these are still within English; we need to go back to the Hebrew to find the actual name.
זְכַרְיָה is the script for Zechariah.
It is more accurately transliterated as “Zakaryah.” (Which is a pretty cool spelling if you ask me.)
What we have here are two words in Hebrew: “Zakar” and “Yah.”
“Zakar” is a fairly simple verb in Hebrew. In the Qal/Pa’al (simple, active action), it means “remember, to remember, bring to memory, surely remember” and so on for another 10 definitions.
“Yah” is actually a shortened term for היה (“Ha’yah,” the verb of being in Hebrew) and יהוה (Tetragrammtron – YHWH, “LORD” or “Adonai” [‘Lord’]). In a sense, it signifies God’s name/presence.
When combined, it does mean “God Remembers” as so many Christian Bookstores engrave on small signs.
But something that had never struck me before is that a shard of God’s name is in mine.
Part of God’s name has been given to me.
I am NOT ascribing divinity to myself.
But the fact that my name has part of God’s name within my own is significant.
It is significant because God, in some way, has called me.
God has placed part of his name onto my own.
I am Zakaryah, and God has remembered me.