🔼The name Kir in the Bible
It's not clear who many cities names Kir are mentioned in the Bible, but here are the candidates:
- A city in Moab (Isaiah 15:1). Authorities are divided on the question whether this city Kir is the same as Kir-heres (Jeremiah 48:36) or Kir-hareseth (Isaiah 16:7) or even the next Kir.
- A city of unknown location. We hear first of this city when king Rezin of Aram joined forces with king Pekah of Israel and went to war with king Ahaz of Judah (2 Kings 16:5). But Ahaz quickly dispatched a messenger (and a lot of silver and gold from the temple of YHWH and the royal palace) to king Tiglath-pileser of Assyria and asked for military assistance. The king of Assyria responded by marching upon the capital of Aram, Damascus, killing Rezin and deporting the local Arameans to Kir (2 Kings 16:9). Around that time the Assyrians came in control of a region that stretched from the Euphrates to Egypt, so it's not inconceivable that this Kir is the same as Kir of Moab.
The deportation of the Arameans of Damascus to Kir was foretold by the prophet Amos (Amos 1:5) who also seems to suggest that they made it back home (Amos 9:7). The prophet Isaiah also mentions Kir, but it's not clear which one (if there's a difference; Isaiah 22:6). Isaiah's Kir appears to partake in an aggressive move towards Jerusalem, so maybe the second Kir was a city in Aram itself.
🔼Etymology of the name Kir
The name Kir is identical to the noun קיר (qir), meaning wall:
For a meaning of the name Kir, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Wall. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has A Wall, A Fortress, but this word for wall typically doesn't refer to a military wall. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name Kir but does confirm that it is identical to the noun קיר (qir), meaning wall.