🔼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 of Solomon 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 (6:24). 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 15:14, 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.