ע
ABARIM
Publications
Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: מרא

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/m/m-r-a.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

מרא

Scholars have identified two separate roots מרא (mr'), but at second glance, they may be the same one:


מרא I

The verb מרא (mara') means to flap, or so we surmise. It's done by an ostrich, while she laughs at horse and rider (Job 39:18), and that's the only context we have of this verb. There are no notable occurrences of similar verbs in cognate languages and the fact that linguists deem this verb to be part of its own separate root may stem entirely from the lack of imagination of those learned scholars.

מרא II

The root-verb מרא (mara' II) isn't used in the Bible, but in cognate languages it means to be fat or well-fed. In the Hebrew experience, heaviness and importance went hand in hand (see our article on the root כבד (kabed), and the ostrich of Job 39:18 may very well have acted "well-fed" or important-slash-arrogant. But this root left two derivations in the Bible:

  • The masculine noun מריא (meri'), meaning fatling or fattened animal (Isaiah 1:11, Ezekiel 39:18).
  • The feminine noun מראה (mur'a), denoting a (fatty?) part of a bird. This noun is used only once, in Leviticus 1:16. Note that this noun is spelled the same as the nouns מראה (mar'a), meaning vision, מראה (mar'a), meaning mirror, and מראה (mar'eh), meaning sight or appearance; all from the root-verb ראה (ra'a), meaning to see.

Associated Biblical names