🔼The name Zeruiah in the Bible
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Zeruiah
Scholars are in disagreement about the meaning and etymology of the name Zeruiah. NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary think that the name Zeruiah comes from the unused root צרה and its sole derivative, the noun צרי, meaning balsam:
And thus, for a meaning of the name Zeruiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Balsam, which would require the masculine noun צרי (sari) to be made feminine by adding the regular letter ה (he). Note that by so doing our word or name terminates in יה (yah), which in the overwhelming number of cases denotes an abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh. This could be an exception (others are the names Aiah, Arieh and Zibiah) but since the name Zeruiah doesn't exist as a regular noun, this forced feminization might in fact be a reference to the Lord, and Zeruiah means Balsam Of Yah.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names won't have any of that, and goes after an unused and hitherto unknown root צרה, which is strikingly similar to the root shown above, and which shows up in Chaldean and Syriac as a verb meaning to cleave. Hence Jones reads Cleft.