🔼The name Ahira: Summary
- Brother Of Evil, Brother Is Friend, Brother's Purpose
- From (1) the noun אח ('ah), brother, and (2) any of the nouns רע (ra'), evil, friend or purpose.
🔼The name Ahira in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Ahira
The name Ahira consists of two elements. The first part comes from the word אח ('ah), meaning brother or figuratively friend or close associate. The letter yod makes it possessive: my brother, or brother of:
The noun אח ('ah) means brother, or more broadly: a fellow member of a social economic node (a "house") within a broader economic whole.
This word's lavish inclusion in names strongly suggests that the deity was reckoned by this word — in modern times we mostly speak of Our Father in Heaven but in antiquity the deity appears to have also been addressed as Our Brother. The New Testament appears to entertain that dynamic in the tenet that the Word is God's Son, and all who have the Word are godly brothers. Also note the similarity with the verb חוה (hawa), to show, tell, make known.
The noun אחוה ('ahawa) means brotherhood and אחות ('ahot) means sister.
The second part of our name comes from the word רע (ra'), which comes from the root group רעה and רעע:
Most broadly, the root רעע (ra'a') describes compartmentalization: to break some continuum apart into separated elements. Human minds are designed to be nodes of a much greater network of exchange, and must continuously interact to maintain a liquidity of wisdom — hence the noun רע (rea'), meaning friend or companion (and hence too the story of the Tower of Babel).
All wealth requires liquidity and that requires units of economy to go around. This explains why "evil" — רע, ra', evil — is not the opposite of "good" but instrumental to it: hence the perfect Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the heart of perfect Paradise. Despite popular misconceptions, in the Bible, all רע (rea') comes from God (Isaiah 45:7) and has a specific and wonderful function in any naturally evolving system.
Verb רעה (ra'a I) means to pasture or feed and the participle רעה (ra'a) means shepherd. Nouns רעי (re'i) and מרעה (mir'eh) mean pasture. Noun מרעית (mar'it) means pasturage.
Verb רעה (ra'a II) means to associate with. Nouns רע (rea'), רעה (re'eh) and מרע (merea') mean friend, associate or "neighbor". Nouns רעיה (ra'ya), רעה (re'a) and רעות (re'ut) describe a female attendant, mate or friend.
There may or not be an unused verb רעה (ra'a III) or else the following belong to the previous: noun רע (rea'), aim or purpose; nouns רעות (re'ut) and רעיון (ra'yon), longing or striving.
Verb רוע (rua') means to produce a sudden burst of sound. Nouns רע (rea') and תרועה (teru'a) describe a collective rallying cry, a war cry.
By the way the Masoretes recorded this name to be pronounced, and also by how the Septuagint and Vulgate transliterate this name, scholars assume that Ahira has to do with רע (ra) meaning evil. Hence, for a meaning of the name Ahira, BDB Theological Dictionary and NOBSE Study Bible Name List both read My Brother Is Evil. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the slightly different Brother Of Evil.
But judging purely from its spelling, Ahira may very well be interpreted as Brother Of A Friend or Brother Of Purpose.