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Meaning and etymology of the name Zerah

Zerah Zerah

The name Zerah is assigned five (or six) times in the Bible: A chief of Edom and son of Reuel, son of Esau and Basemath (Genesis 33:17 - possibly the same as the next); The father of Jobab, successor of Bela a king of Edom, who came from Bozrah (Genesis 36:33); A son of Judah and Tamar, and brother of Perez and great-grandfather of Achan (Genesis 38:30); A son of Simeon (Numbers 26:13) called Zohar in Genesis 46:10; A Levite of the Gershom branch (1 Chronicles 6:21); and a Cushite general who was defeated by king Asa (2 Chronicles 14:8)

The name Zerah comes from the verb Zerah (zarah), meaning to arise, rise, come up or shine. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament explains that this verb is used in three different settings: (1) It may denote the breaking out of the symptoms of leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:19 - the case of king Uzziah); (2) It may refer to the rising of the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:5, 2 Samuel 23:4) and (3) It may speak of a "rising" of bliss in a person's life (Psalm 112:4, Isaiah 58:10) or the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 60:1).

The derivations of this verb are: The noun Zerah (zerah), meaning dawning, shining; The noun ezrah ('ezrah), meaning a native (one arising from the soil - says BDB Theological Dictionary); The noun mizrah (mizrah), meaning the place of sunrise, east.

For a meaning of the name Zerah, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Dawning. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Rising Of Light.



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