& Meaning •
Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Ezer
Ezer or Etzer
There are two completely different names in the Bible that both transliterate into English as Ezer. One is the quite common name (Ezer) and the other one is , which should sound something like Etzer, but which is written as Ezer and sometimes as Ezar in English Bibles. Something similar happens with the names (Sheba I) and (Sheba II).
The name (Ezer; Etzer) is assigned only once in the Bible. It's the name of a son of Seir, who became a Horite chief (Genesis 36:21, see v30).
This version of the name Ezer comes from the verb (asar), meaning to store or lay up (2 Kings 20:17). The derivative (osar), meaning treasure, treasury, is one of nine Hebrew words denoting a depository of goods that are used in the Bible (Joshua 6:19).
The name Ezer I is a noun equal to the verb and means Treasury (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) or Treasure (BDB Theological Dictionary). BDN adds an Arabic equivalent meaning Covenant.
The name (Ezer) is actually quite common in the Bible, but none of the Ezers became very famous and the name remains relatively unknown.
The genuine Ezers of the Bible are a Judahite (1 Chronicles 4:4).
an Ephraimite (1 Chronicles 7:21),
a Gadite (1 Chronicles 12:9),
a son of Jeshua (Nehemiah 3:19),
and a postexilic priest (Nehemiah 12:42).
The name Ezer comes from the verb (azar), meaning to help, support. This verb is used in the Bible in all the expected ways, but, as HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes, most often in military situations. During battle, human party's rush to each others aid (Ezekiel 30:8), but most often God is doing the helping (2 Chronicles 12:18).
That this verb shows up mostly in combat scenes has probably more to do with the Bible's going themes than with the nature of this verb. When God sees Adam all by himself, he concludes that he needs a helper, and creates Eve (Genesis 2:8). It does, however, show that Eve was not Adam's secretary or maid, but rather an indispensable pillar. In any situation described in the Bible by this verb, without the helper, the person who needed the help would either die or fade away. So God "helps" the fatherless (Psalm 10:14), the ill (Psalm 28:7), those who suffer great spiritual discomfort (Psalm 54:4), and the poor (Psalm 72:12).
This verb yields an identical masculine noun (azar), meaning help (Isaiah 30:5), and a feminine noun (ezra), also meaning help (Jeremiah 37:7).
The name Ezer means Help
Other names derived of the verb azar are
Ezri, Jazer and Romamti-ezer.
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