🔼The name Ammihur: Summary
- Cave People, Noble Class, White Folks
- From (1) the noun עם ('am), people, and (2) the noun חר (hur), cave, noble or white.
🔼The name Ammihur in the Bible
The name Ammihur occurs just once in the Bible, and most translations and commentators don't even list it because they assume it's a corruption of the name Ammihud. But it certainly occurs in the Hebrew Bible. When Absalom has his half-brother Amnon killed because he had raped their sister Tamar, Absalom flees to Talmai, son of Ammihur, king of Geshur and stays there for three years (2 Samuel 13:37).
🔼Etymology of the name Ammihur
The name Ammihur consists of two parts. The first part comes from the unused Hebrew root עמם:
The verb עמם ('mm) probably expressed to be inclusive or comprehensive. Its rare uses in the Bible relate to making secrets or making info available to an in-crowd. Preposition עם ('im) means 'with', מעם (me'im) means 'from', and עמה ('umma) means 'beside'. Noun עם ('am) means a people, ranging from all of mankind to the in-crowd of a small village. Noun עם ('am) refers to one's (paternal) kinsman.
The second part of the name Ammihur looks like it has to do with the root group חרר (harar):
The root חרר (harar) describes a society's central and enclosed source of heat. It thus may express a geographical depression, but more so a being hot and ultimately a being a ruler (whether by might, political clout or wisdom).
Verb חרר (harar I) means to be hot, burned or charred. Noun חרר (harer) denotes a parched place and noun חרחר (harhur) describes a violent heat or fever. The unused verb חרר (harar II) means to be free in cognate languages, which is the opposite of being a slave. Noun חר (hor) means noble or nobleman. The unused verb חרר (harar III) appears to refer to the enclosure of kilns and ovens, as the first ones were most likely built in natural hollows. The nouns חר (hor) and חור (hor) mean hole or cavern, but obviously relate to the previous word in that freemen surround themselves with walls and armies.
Verb חרה (hara) means to burn or ignite (in the Bible solely in an emotional way: to get angry). Noun חרון (haron) describes the burning of anger. Noun חרי (hori) refers to a general burning.
Verb חור (hawar) means to be or grow white (like ash or baked bricks). Nouns חור (hur) and חורי (huray) refer to any white stuff, including garments and linen, and noun חרי (hori) describes white bread or cake.
Verb נחר (nahar) looks very much like a passive or reflexive version of חרר (harar) or its participle. This verb isn't used in the Bible but nouns נחר (nahar) and נחרה (naharah) describe the vigorous snorting of a horse, and noun נחיר (nahir) means nostril (which in turn reminds of a cavern).
The latter part of the name Ammihur could come from any of the above and our name may mean Cave People, Noble Class or even White Folks (perhaps not unlike the ethnonym Galatians, which may have to do with the Greek word gala or milk).