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Tel-harsha meaning

תל חרשא

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Tel-harsha.html

🔼The name Tel-harsha in the Bible

The name Tel-harsha occurs twice in the Bible but in the same context. Both Ezra and Nehemiah report that hundreds of people (Ezra says 652, Nehemiah counts 642) returned from the Babylonian exile, having not only been robbed of dignity, culture and decades of their lives, also of any records to show that their families truly originated in Israel and not somewhere else (Ezra 2:59, Nehemiah 7:61; the returnees came with substantial gifts from the Persian government and rightfully expected profiteers from less lavishly endowed peoples to hitch a ride).

And since they were unable to submit any proof of their legal Jewishness, the sons of Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda were most probably banned again and turned into Samaritans. People who could apparently show that their families were of priestly descent but not precisely how they related to Aaron, where only excluded from the priesthood (Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65, see Numbers 16:40).

Note that just prior to Tel-harsha, both Ezra and Nehemiah mention a Harsha as patriarch of a family of Nethinim (Ezra 2:52, Nehemiah 7:54).

🔼Etymology of the name Tel-harsha

The name Tel-harsha consists of two elements. The first part of our name is the noun תל (tel), which denotes a place of repeated destruction and rebuilding:

The second part of our name is the same as Harsha, which in turn comes from the root group חרשׁ (harash):

🔼Tel-harsha meaning

For a meaning of the name Tel-harsha, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Mound Of The Craftsman's Work and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes a curious Hill Of Plowing (and this while both translate the name Harsha with Enchanter).

BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name and lists it under the noun תל (tel).