🔼The name Uri in the Bible
There are three men named Uri mentioned in the Bible:
- The son of Hur, the son of Caleb and Ephrath of Judah, and the father of Bezalel, whom the Lord filled with His Spirit in order to create gold, silver, bronze and wooden artifacts for the tabernacle, together with Oholiab (Exodus 31:2, 1 Chronicles 2:20).
- The father of Geber (only here spelled ארי, and note the similarity with the name Ari, ארי, from the verb אור 'or, meaning to shine), who was one of the twelve deputies of king Solomon. Geber was stationed in the region of Gilead, which was also known as Havvoth-jair; the country that once belonged to Sihon, king of the Amorites and king Og of Bashan (1 Kings 4:19).
- A gatekeeper who had married and would divorce his foreign wife during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:24).
🔼Etymology of the name Uri
The name Uri comes from the verb אור ('or), meaning to shine:
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (shiny), a possessive form (my light), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Uri, NOBSE Study Bible Name List merely declares Uri to be an abbreviation of Urijah, which NOBSE translates with Yahweh Is Light. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names takes the final yod to be a mark of the divine but reads an incomplete Light and then adds "of the Lord". BDB Theological Dictionary takes our name to be an adjective and reads Fiery, but also submits that Uri may very well be a contracted form of Urijah, which BDB translates with either Flame Of Yah or My Light Is Yah.