Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
גרר גרה גור
The root cluster גרר (grr), גרה (grh), and גור (gwr) consists of three forms that are obviously related. There is also some overlap in their meanings and applications:
The verb גרר (garar) occurs a mere six times in the Bible. Its general meaning is to drag or drag away. Men get dragged away like fish in nets (Habakkuk 1:15), tempests sweep (Jeremiah 30:23), and their own violence drags violators off (Proverbs 21:7). This verb also seems to contain a repetitive or circular sub-tone. It may, for instance, also mean to saw (1 Kings 7:9) or to chew the cud (Leviticus 11:7). This verb's derivatives are:
- The feminine noun גרה (gera), meaning cud (Leviticus 11:3). BDB Theological Dictionary wonders what cud has to do with dragging and proposes that perhaps the sound a ruminating cow makes somehow reminded people of dragging. Here at Abarim Publications we doubt that. We're guessing that people knew very well that cud had been down once, was brought back up and after a good chew was sent back down again. The cow will chew this cud with a motion akin to sawing.
- The identical feminine noun גרה (gera), this time denoting a unit of weight, the gerah, which was one twentieth of a shekel (Exodus 30:13).
- The masculine noun גרגר (gargar), meaning berry (Isaiah 17:6).
- The feminine plural noun גרגרות (gargerot), meaning neck (Proverbs 1:9). Perhaps this word and the previous one were formed on account of the motion of a berry in the wind, and a head that wags.
- The feminine noun מגרה (megera), meaning saw (1 Kings 7:9).
Somewhat reminiscent of the sweeping tempest of the previous verb, the verb גרה (gara) has to do with warfare; it means to strive or agitate strife (Deuteronomy 2:5, Proverbs 28:4). Its derivatives are:
- The feminine noun תגרה (tigra), meaning contention or opposition (Psalm 39:10 only).
- The masculine noun גרון (garon), meaning neck (Isaiah 3:16) or throat (Jeremiah 2:25). Note that the noun גרגרות (gargerot) derived from the previous verb also means neck. Some scholars suggest that the noun גרון (garon) should be considered as taken from גרר (garar).
The verb גור (gur II) is similar in meaning to the previous verb; it means to quarrel or stir up strife (Isaiah 54:15, Psalm 56:6). Its derivations are two similar masculine nouns: גור (gor) and גור (gur), both meaning lion's cub (as quarrelsome? wonders BDB Theological Dictionary - Genesis 49:9, Jeremiah 51:38).
The verb גור (gur I) means to itinerate (Genesis 12:10, Exodus 12:48) or temporary abide (Jeremiah 43:5, Isaiah 11:6). Like the other verbs, it expresses a temporary encounter or temporary engagement. Its derivations are:
- The masculine noun גר (ger), meaning itinerant (Genesis 23:4, Job 31:32). This word is also used to denote the stranger or foreigner living in Israel (Exodus 20:10, Joshua 8:33). The construct גר הגר (Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 16:29, Numbers 15:15) means literally 'the stranger who is a stranger...' or rather 'the stranger who itinerates...'. Note that Isaiah uses an unrelated but similar Aramaic loan word גר (gir), meaning chalk or lime (Isaiah 27:9 only).
- The feminine noun גרות (gerut), meaning lodging place. This noun occurs in Jeremiah 41:17 only and may in fact be part of the name Geruth Chimham.
- The more common masculine noun מגור (magor), meaning dwelling place (Exodus 6:4) or an itineration (Genesis 47:9).
- The feminine noun מגורה (megura), meaning storehouse (Haggai 2:19 only).
- The feminine plural noun ממגרות (mammegurot), also meaning storehouse (Joshua 1:17 only).
The verb גור (gur III) means to dread. It's used in the sense of being very afraid (Numbers 22:3, 1 Samuel 18:15), or to stand in awe (Psalm 22:23, 33:8). This verb appears to be a by-form of the verb יגר (yagor), see next. The derivatives of גור (gur) are:
- The masculine noun מגור (magor), meaning fear or terror (Jeremiah 20:4, Psalm 31:13). Note that this word is identical to מגור (magor), meaning dwelling place, mentioned before.
- The feminine noun מגורה (megora), also meaning fear or terror (Proverbs 10:24, Isaiah 66:4).
The verb יגר (yagor) appears to be a by-form of the previous one. It too means to fear (Deuteronomy 28:60, Job 3:25). Its sole derivative, the adverb יגור (yagor), means fearing (Jeremiah 22:25 and 39:17 only).