🔼The name Adar: Summary
- Darkened, Eclipsed
- Cloak, Majestic, Wide
- From a Babylonian verb adaru, to be darkened or eclipsed.
- From the Hebrew verb אדר ('adar), to be majestic or wide, or the verb הדר (adar), to be majestic or glorify.
🔼The name Adar in the Bible
The name Adar belongs to the last month of the amazing Mesopotamian calendar, and thus to the end of Israel's agricultural year. Adar is the post-exilic name for this month; it replaced the Canaanite name Hayr during the Babylonian exile. The character of this final month of the agricultural year derived probably most from the month that followed, namely Abib (pre-exilic) or Nisan (post-exilic), which signified spring and hence the resurrection of life and prosperity.
On the third day of Adar, the temple of Zerubbabel was completed (Ezra 6:15). But the month Adar is associated mostly with the idiotic attempt of Haman to obliterate the Jews from the Persian empire. This he had planned to occur on the 13th day of Adar, but it resulted in his own demise and that of his ten son and many of his come-rogues, and ultimately in the utter victory and autonomy of the Jews (Esther 3:7, 3:13, 9:1, 9:15, 9:17, 9:19 and 9:21).
The Persian holocaust was averted by Esther, whose name means star. The Persian Jews used their regained freedom to develop the most amazing wisdom tradition the world has ever seen, which ultimately resulted in the production of the Bible-the-way-we-know-it and their correctly identifying of the Word of God; again by following a star (Matthew 2:1-2).
🔼Etymology of the name Adar
It's not clear where the name Adar comes from, although the Persian had two months whose names contained the word adar, one of which was a intercalary month, to create a leap year. The Jews adopted both the name(s) and the practice of these two months named Adar.
Irrespective of what the word adar may have meant to the Persians (it possibly stems from a verb adaru, to be darkened or eclipsed), the Jewish scholars who adopted and transliterated it made it seem kindred to the verb אדר ('adar), meaning to be wide or majestic. And from this verb stems a noun that could also describe a cloak, which in turn could be associated to an overcast sky:
The verb אדר ('adar) means to be superior or majestic (or literally: wide). Noun אדר ('eder) means glory or magnificence, or may refer to a wide cloak. Adjective אדיר ('addir) means majestic. Noun אדרת ('aderet) means glory.
Another possible association can be made with the verb הדר (hadar), to honor, adorn or glorify:
The verb הדר (hadar) means to honor, adorn or glorify. Noun הדר (heder) means splendor or glory. Noun הדר (hadar) means ornament, splendor or honor. Noun הדרה (hadara) means adornment or glory.
For a meaning of the name Adar, NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to go with the Babylonian original and reads Dark or Cloudy. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't treat the names of the months. BDB Theological Dictionary refers to the Babylonian verb adaru, but also declares the meaning dubious.