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Meaning and etymology of the name Sisera

Sisera Sisera

Sisera is the commander of the army of Jabin, the king of Canaan who attacks Israel (Judges 4:2). Judge Deborah and general Barak mount a highly successful counter attack, but Sisera himself dies at the hand of a lady named Jael.

BDB Theological Dictionary suggests that the extension -sira is common for Hittite names but gives no meaning. Fuerst's Hebrew & Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament draws towards a foreign word meaning meditator and NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Meditation as well.

To a Hebrew audience the name Sisera may have reminded of the word sis (sis), which Jeremiah uses (8:7) in stead of the more common and highly similar sus (sus), swallow or swift, or sus (sus), horse. The -ra part of the name may have sounded as if it came from the verb raa (ra'a), see, look. All this considered, the name Sisera may have sounded as meaning something like our word Hawk-Eye.

Other names derived from the verb ra'a are Beer lahai roi, Ezra, Haroeh, Irijah, Mamre, Reaiah and Reuben.



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