🔼The name Tirzah in the Bible
There are two Tirzahs mentioned in the Bible, a woman and a city:
- The woman named Tirzah is one of five daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher of Manasseh, who together with her sisters Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah and Milcah famously brings about a change in Mosaic hereditary law (Numbers 26:33).
- Tirzah the city is located near Samaria and is conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:24). King Solomon praises her beauty (Song 6:4) and king Jeroboam moves his seat of power to there (1 Kings 14:17; here this town is called תרצת, Tirzath). Israel's kings down to Omri rule from Tirzah (1 Kings 16:23). Omri buys a hill from a man named Shemer, and builds the city Samaria on it (v24). When his son Ahab becomes king, he rules from Samaria. The last we hear of Tirzah is that it's the scene of a massacre instigated by the cruel king Menahem of Israel (2 Kings 15:16). Judging from verse 14, king Menahem was a native of that town.
🔼Etymology of the name Tirzah
The name Tirzah comes from the verb רצה (rasa), meaning to be pleased with or favorable to:
The letter ת (taw) with which the name Tirzah starts comes from a common linguistic construction that allows a noun to express an intensification of the verb.
For a meaning of the name Tirzah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Delight. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Pleasantness. And in a rare show of generosity, even BDB Theological Dictionary translates this name and proposes Pleasure, Beauty.