Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
There are at least two separate roots נער (n'r) noted in the Bible, and some scholars insist that there are three. In any case, roots I and III appear to be related:
The verb נער (na'ar I) means to growl. It's used only once, in Jeremiah 51:38.
The verb נער (na'ar II) means to shake, shake out or off (Nehemiah 5:13, Isaiah 33:15, Psalm 109:23). Most occurrences of this verb also seem to denote some kind of separation; the shaking is usually done to remove something or someone from somewhere. This verb yields two derivatives:
- The masculine noun נער (na'ar), meaning a shaking or a scattering. This word is used only once, in Zechariah 11:16, but some scholars (BDB Theological Dictionary) think this word doesn't exist and this text is corrupt.
- The feminine noun נערת (ne'oret), denoting the fiber of flax or comparable plant, after it's been beaten and shaken off.
The assumed root נער (n'r III) yields the following derivations:
- The masculine noun נער (na'ar), which would technically denote a male child ranging from baby boy (Exodus 2:6, 2 Samuel 12:16) to young man (2 Kings 2:23, 2 Samuel 14:21). But in the unisex sense of 'young one' or 'child', this word is applied to Rebekah (Genesis 24:15), Dinah (Genesis 34:3) and various other girls (Deuteronomy 22:15). In Hebrew the genders are somewhat differently defined than in English — remember that the word for son, namely בן (ben) may also apply to girls.
- The feminine equivalent נערה (na'ara) denotes a girl, and is usually employed to mean a marriageable but unmarried young woman (2 Kings 5:2, Ruth 2:6).
- The masculine noun נער (no'ar) means youth or early life. This word occurs only four times in the Bible, and is a poetic variant of the following noun:
- The masculine plural noun נעורים (ne'urim) meaning youth or early life (1 Samuel 12:2, Proverbs 5:18, Isaiah 47:12).
- The feminine equivalent נערות (ne'urot) is used only once, in Jeremiah 32:30.