Question: What is the significance of Jaazaniah? I am studying in Ezekiel where in 8:11 he is said to be a son of Shaphan who as I remember was some sort of leader or prince in an earlier book. In Ezekiel 11:1 he is the son of Azur. Since each appears to have a different father, they must be different people. Is it the name that has meaning? My Bible says it means "Heard of God". The name seems to be mentioned in several books and obviously belongs to different men. In Jeremiah 35:3 he is Jeremiah's son and in Kings 25.23 it names him a son of a Maachathite. Must have been fairly popular in those times.



Breakdown of pronunciation- Ja az a ni' ah, Hebraic pronunciation yah-az-an-yaw' (may have a hoo ending suffix or a Jah ending which leads to the meaning in translation you offered.)

The name meaning might also be expressed as "Jehovah Doth Hearken."

According to Herbert Lockyer Jaazaniah has four references. My footnotes below give some insight into this:

1.      A son of Hoshaiah,[1] a Maachathite* and a Jewish captain who swore allegiance to Gedaliah** (2Kings 25:23). See Jezaniah {Jehovah Doth Hearken or Determine}(Jeremiah 40:8; 42:1)

2.      A chief Rechabite,***" son of a certain Jeremiah - not the prophet of that name. (Jer. 35:3)

3.      A son of Shaphan,[2] a visionary exciting to idolatry in Ezekiel's time. (Ezekiel 8:11)

4.      A son of Azur,[3] a wicked prince of Judah seen in vision by Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 11:1)

The prophet prophesied against his counsels.


            The passage is an indictment of men who form a secret organization and actually do things contrary to God's law.  The number, seventy, coincides with the number of the Sanhedrin. That with location shows that the sin infects the very center of the religious establishment, especially the principle men. The parallel between these things and the involvement of modern religious leaders with secret societies I was preaching about twenty-five years ago. Such preaching has never served to make me popular, but has resulted in my being blackballed from many pulpits.

            The love of ritual, form over substance is also evident in the passage. This is an indictment of Romish and what we often call "high church" participants. As has come to the fore in recent times, what people do in private and proclaim in public have been too often contradictory behaviors. I can editorialize to say that the religious establishment is once again becoming bold in its sins to the harm of Christian testimony to a lost and dying world, as well as hurting the continuation of faithful believers within the established religious bodies when they become disillusioned over the conduct of their supposed leadership.

            The position of Jaazaniah among these men who were bound by their duty, and office, to restrain and punish idolatry but are themselves chief among sinners, shows not only his position in the goings on, but also he singled as someone particularly known to Ezekiel. His name, probably originally given as a name of praise toward God becomes a means of driving home a point. God not only see what is done, and hears what is said, He is also responding to the blasphemy to reveal and condemn it. Hearkening requires response you see.

            Yes, I agree that the name has significance. But the man who bears that name will not appreciate the response of God.


[1]  Hoshaiah name meaning: God Hath Saved

Two men bear this name in the Scripture:

(1.)    The man who lead the princes of Judah and walked behind the chorus at the dedication of the wall. (Nehemiah 12:32)

(2.)    The father of Jezaniah or Azariah, and a man of influence in Nebuchadnezzar's time. (Jeremiah 42: 1,2).

[2] Shaphan - Prudent, Shy, Rock Badger or Wild Rat.

There are four men by this name in the Bible, the scribe son of Aziliah and father of Gemariah is probably the most notable. 2Kings 22:3-14; 2Chronicles 34:8-20; Jeremiah 36:10-12. The man particular to this footnote question is apparently not that notable man according to some authorities however he might well be a descendant or relative because of the position within the priestly class.

[3]  Azur - Name means Helper. Three men bear this name in Scripture.

* Maachathite - The people of the nation of Maacha, residing  near the Geshurites in the region of Bashan. They were in the region taken by Jair the son of Manasseh (Deuterononmy 3:14), situated on the border of Og, King of Bashan, (Joshua 12:5) The half tribe of Manasseh, and the tribes of Reuben and Gad were assigned among other adjacent areas, "Gilead and the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan." (Joshua 13:11) Which puts them on the edge of the Syrian desert North of Gilead. The Israelites did not drive out the Maacathites or the Geshurites  but dwelt with them. (Joshua 13:13) The grandfather of Eliphelet, one of David's mighty men was a Maacathite. (2Samuel 23:34) After the fall of Jerusalem, one of the men who came to Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Mizpah was Jaazaniah.

* * Gedaliah - A son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, King Josiah's secretary and Governor of Mizpah (2Kings25: 22-25; Jeremiah: 39:14; 40:5-16, 41; 43:6). This Judean of high birth was the one who protected Jeremiah, whose views he shared, from the anti-Chaldeans. Nebuchadnezzar made him governor over "the poor people left in the land." He only ruled however, for two months. The anniversary of this treacherous murder is observed as one of the four Jewish feasts. (Zechariah 7:5; 8:19)

***" The particular Rechab, who was an early ancestor of the Kenite Tribe that later became identified with the Tribe of Judah (1Chroicles 2:55) This Rechab was the founder of the order of the Rechabites. It was Jehonadab who rode with Jehu on the penal mission against the House of Ahab (2Kings 10:15ff). Jeremiah utilized the example of the Rechabites and their obedience to their father to drink no wine as a method of sharply berating the nation for their lack of obedience to God. (Jeremiah 35:19) The Rechabites, though thirsty, refused to partake of the wine rather than break faith. The Israelites, though partakers of the divine blessings, had indeed broken the covenant. This the object lesson is brought to completion.

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