Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What's in a name?

What comes to mind when you hear the name, "Zacchaeus?"

I'm sure that if you have any familiarity with the Bible, a song will pop into your head right about now.... "Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he! He climbed up in the sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see!" (and on it goes.) You're welcome for getting that in your head now:)

Anyways, I'm going somewhere with this! Ben discovered something really cool 2 nights ago that he was really excited about. Ready? Zacchaeus is actually a translation of Zakkai!

We often get asked about Zakkai's unusual name~ how we chose it, what it means, where it is from, etc. We tell them that it is a Hebrew name, meaning "Pure, righteous or innocent." Beautiful meaning! We were having trouble choosing a second set of boy names and one evening a few months before Z was born, Ben came around the corner with one of his Hebrew books and started reading off names. I said, "No. No. No. Um, what? No. Wait, what was that last one?" And we both went, "Hmm. Zakkai. Kind of cool!" And the more we tossed it around on our tongues and thought about it and heard the meaning, we loved it! Even better, the name is in the Old Testament, although it is originally spelled, "Zacchai." We changed it to double "k's" since we assumed (correctly) that most people would pronounce it "Za-chai" like the drink.

Most people pronounce it wrong anyways:) He most often gets called, "Zachary" or "Zakkaia," with an extra "a" on the end.

But the other night, Ben was doing some reading in preparation for the boys' Latin lesson and he suddenly discovered that Zacchaeus translated through the Hebrew, Greek and Latin is actually the name for Zakkai! So when Jesus called him down from the tree, he would've said, "Zacchai, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."

And even better, Zacchaeus repented immediately and gave away half of his possessions to the poor so that he could follow Jesus. Pretty cool, eh?!

AND to add to the story, guess what is one of the nicknames we have called Zakkai off and on throughout his 7 years of life.... Zacchaeus. Really. We called him "Zachnitch," "Z-man" and "Zacchaeus." And we never knew this whole time!

He's a pretty cool little dude and now his name's even cooler than we thought:) We'll keep him!


Grandma W said...

A "gift" of sorts to learn this about Z's name. I have always liked it. Can't imagine him by any other name. Names are so important.

I took 2 years of Latin in high school. It is interesting how much of our English words have their root in Latin. The only thing I remember is the word for rose is rosa - and "I don't know" is "Id non scio". Thank goodness I did not have to depend on this to get me through life! What a great thing for the boys to be learning Latin. Love to all. Praying. Trusting.

Aunt t said...

I love his name and the meaning.! ... He is a unique special boy with a great name!