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Hamor meaning

חמור
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🔼The name Hamor in the Bible

There's only one Hamor mentioned in the Bible and he was a Hivite ruler (נשיא, nasi') and father of Shechem. When Jacob returned from Paddan-aram and wanted to settle in Canaan, he bought land from Hamor and built the altar named El-Elohe-Israel (Genesis 33:19).

At some point, Jacob's only daughter Dinah, the sister of the twelve tribal patriarchs of Israel, went to the nearby town of Shechem to visit the Hivite women. She was noticed by prince Shechem, who fell in love with her and decided to express his feelings by raping her (34:2). Still, Hamor went to Jacob to ask for Dinah as a wife for Shechem, but Jacob's sons told Hamor that he and his people would have to be circumcised for their two families to intermarry.

When the men of Shechem were incapacitated from being circumcised, Dinah's full brothers Simeon and Levi killed Hamor and Shechem and everybody else they could find (34:25-26). Jacob subsequently punished the brothers by dispersing them in Israel without claim to their own lands (49:7). Because of this, the tribes of Levi and Simeon were present in Judah when the latter was taken to Babylon, and were thus preserved.

🔼Etymology of the name Hamor

The name Hamor is the same as the noun חמור (hamor), meaning ass or donkey, or more literal: red-one, from the root חמר (hamar III), meaning to be red:

🔼Hamor meaning

For a meaning of the name Hamor, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Ass and BDB Theological Dictionary has He-Ass. Most literally, however, the name Hamor means Red One.

Note that the color red signified the first stage of human civilization, and is connected to both Israel's Hivite nemesis as to Israel's national brother Edom (from Esau, Jacob's brother).

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