Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The verb דרר (darar) isn't used in the Hebrew Bible, but in Arabic it means to flow freely or abundantly and denotes freedom and wealth. In Arabic it's also used to denote the flowing of light from a lamp, which puts our root דרר (darar) in proximity to the Hebrew verb for that, namely נהר (nahar). This unused verb has five extant derivations:
- The masculine noun דר (dar), which probably describes a pearl or mother of pearl as symbol of wealth (it does so in Arabic). It occurs in Esther 1:6 only.
- The important masculine noun דרור (deror), meaning freedom. This noun is used once to describe the free flowing of costly myrrh as element of the sacred anointing oil (Exodus 30:23). Elsewhere this noun describes the liberty proclaimed (קרא, qara', to call near) in the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10, Isaiah 61:1, Jeremiah 34:8-17, Ezekiel 46:17).
- The identical but feminine noun דרור (deror), which describes the swift or swallow, the proverbial bird who builds a house for herself and her children (Psalm 84:3, Proverbs 26:2).
- The masculine noun דרום (darom), meaning south (Deuteronomy 33:24, Job 37:17, Ezekiel 40:27). Another word for south is תימן (teman).
- The masculine noun דרדר (dardar), meaning thistles (Genesis 3:18, Hosea 10:8).
The verb נדר (nadar) means to vow (Genesis 28:20, Psalm 132:2, Malachi 1:14) and looks like a Niphal (i.e. passive or reflexive) form of the verb דרר (darar), to flow free. Technically, however, it is thought to relate to the verb נזר (nazar), to consecrate oneself. From this verb derives:
- The noun נדר (neder), meaning a vow (Genesis 28:20, Jonah 1:16, Numbers 6:2).
The verb דור (dur) probably originally denoted a kind of circular movement; to go about or surround. In the Biblical narrative, its meaning breaks apart in two general categories, that of heaping or piling, and to dwell. BDB Theological Dictionary assumes that the meaning of to dwell arose from a circular group of buildings around a central court; a proto-village or fort. The verb occurs only twice, in Psalm 84:11 in the sense of to dwell, and in Ezekiel 24:5 in the sense of to pile. This verb yields three derivatives:
- The masculine noun דור (dur), meaning circle (Isaiah 29:3), ball (Isaiah 22:18), or heap (Ezekiel 24:5). This noun occurs these mere three times in the Bible.
- The masculine noun דור (dor) or דר (dor), meaning period or age (Deuteronomy 32:7, Isaiah 51:9), generation (Genesis 7:1, Judges 3:2), dwelling place or habitation (Isaiah 38:12). This noun is also used to group men by character or condition, in constructions like 'crooked generation' (Deuteronomy 32:5) or 'righteous generation' (Psalm 14:4). The word generation doesn't work very well in these contexts and translators may choose words like bunch, band or perhaps clique.
- The feminine noun מדורה (medura), meaning pile (Ezekiel 24:9 and Isaiah 30:33 only).