🔼The name El-paran in the Bible
The name El-paran is first of all rather poorly transliterated, as it now appears to contain the name El, meaning God, which it doesn't; El is spelled אל. A more proper transliteration of our name would be Ayil-paran.
But, even as poorly transliterated, the name El-paran occurs only once in the Bible, namely in the story of the War of Four Against Five Kings, where it serves as the southernmost extent of the realm of the Horites (Genesis 14:6).
Most scholars appear to be charmed by the idea that El-paran is the same as the city known by the names Elath and Eloth, but that's no more than conjecture.
🔼Etymology of the name El-paran
The name El-paran obviously consists of two elements. The first part of our name is the word איל (ayil), which denotes something that sticks out:
The second part of our name is the same as the name Paran, which derives from the root פאר (pa'ar), meaning to glorify:
For a meaning of the name El-paran, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Oak Of Paran. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes Terebinth (or Palm?) Of Paran, but how BDB reads a palm into this name is a mystery; the word for palm is תמר (tamar; see the name Tamar).
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates both ends of the name and suggests Terebinths (or Turpentines) Abounding In Foliage.
Here at Abarim Publications we doubt that a place in a scorching desert would be named after a lushly endowed oak and feel that a more appropriate translation of our name would be Leading Glory, or something like that.