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"Benayahu" redirects here. For the former IDF spokesman, see Avi Benayahu.

Benaiah (Hebrew: בניהו‎‎, "Yahweh delivers", or possibly, "the son of Yahweh builds up"[1] is a common name in the Hebrew Bible.[2] In the etymology of the name, the first part of Benaiah comes from the root-verb בנה (bana),[3] which is a common and ubiquitous Hebrew verb meaning "to build". The second part of Benaiah is יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), a derivative of the Tetragrammaton.[4] The Hebrew word בן (ben), meaning son, is also thought by some to come from the verb בנה (bana).[5]

Benaiah, depicted killing a man of Moab by William Etty 1829

Son of Jehoiada[edit]

In the Hebrew Bible, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada the priest, came from the southern Judean town of Kabzeel.[6]


Other Benaiahs of the Hebrew Bible are:

  • One of David’s mighty men, commander of the 11th rotational army division; a Pirathonite of the tribe of Ephraim (2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chr. 11:31; 27:14).
  • A Levite musician who played his stringed instrument accompanying the ark of the covenant when it was brought to Jerusalem and placed in the tent David had prepared for it (1 Chr. 15:18, 20; 16:1, 5).
  • A priest who played a trumpet when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem during David’s reign (1 Chr. 15:24; 16:6).
  • A Levite descendant of Asaph, son of Berachiah the Gershonite (2 Chr. 20:14).
  • A Simeonite, possibly a contemporary of King Hezekiah (1 Chr. 4:24, 36-43).
  • A Levite appointed by Hezekiah to help care for the bounteous contributions to Jehovah’s house (2 Chr. 31:12, 13).
  • Father of Pelatiah, one of the wicked princes seen in Ezekiel’s vision (Eze. 11:1, 13).
  • Four men who, at Ezra’s admonition, dismissed their foreign wives and sons. These four were descendants of Parosh, Pahath-moab, Bani, and Nebo respectively (Ezr. 10:25, 30, 34, 35, 43, 44).


  1. ^ Eerdmans 2000, p. 447.
  2. ^ Abarim Publications, Meaning and etymology of the name Benaiah
  3. ^ The root-verb בנה (bana) means to build. It's used to describe the construction of all kinds of buildings; a city (Genesis 4:17), a tower (Genesis 10:11), an altar (Genesis 22:9), a house (Genesis 33:27), the temple (2 Samuel 7:5), a fortress (2 Chronicles 17:12), a wall (1 Kings 3:1). It is also used to describe YHWH's making of woman from a rib of man (Genesis 2:22).
  4. ^ Abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
  5. ^ Abarim Publications, Meaning and etymology of the name Benaiah.
  6. ^ Eerdmans 2000, p. 164.