🔼The name Ar: Summary
- From the noun עיר ('ir), city.
🔼The name Ar in the Bible
The name Ar (or more complete: ער־מואב; Ar of Moab — see Numbers 21:28) was a city on the southern shore of the river Arnon (Numbers 21:15). When YHWH delivers his famous "do not harass Moab" sermon, he declares that he gave Ar to the sons of Lot (which would be the Ammonites and the Moabites — Deuteronomy 2:9). Much later, the prophet Isaiah declares his blood curdling prophecies against Moab, and foretells its utter destruction, along with Kir of Moab (Isaiah 15:1).
🔼Etymology of the name Ar
The name Ar probably comes from the word עיר ('ir), meaning city:
The root ערר ('arar) describes an accumulation in one place that results in an emptiness or barrenness everywhere else — both cities and clouds form from this principle, and indeed any sort of commercial or intellectual fortune. Adjectives ערירי ('ariri) and ערער ('ar'ar) mean stripped, childless or destitute. Noun מערה (me'ara) literally means "place of being stripped" and is the Bible's common word for cave. Noun ערוער ('aro'er) denotes some kind of tree or bush (probably one without leaves).
Noun עיר ('ir) is the Bible's common word for city, which constitutes an accumulation of people and goods, usually in the middle of a wide area without remaining trees. Noun עיר ('ayir) came to specifically denote the wild ass, but apparently stems from the more common behavior of standing around in clusters in the middle of a field that's been grazed clean (in other languages this word also denotes gazelles and such).
Verb עור ('awar) means to be or make blind, and blindness occurs most commonly due to a cataract (which looks like a skin forming over the eye, and is due to a cloudy accumulation of protein in the ocular lens). Adjective עור ('iwwer) means blind. Nouns עורון ('iwwaron) and עורת ('awweret) mean blindness.
Verb עור ('ur I) means to rouse oneself — literally to collect and bundle one's feelings. Noun עיר ('ir) means excitement.
Identical verb עור ('ur II) means to be exposed or laid bare. Noun מעור (ma'or) means nakedness and noun מערם (ma'arom) means naked one. Adjectives עירם ('erom), ערם ('erom), ערום ('arom) and ערם ('arom) mean naked. Noun עור ('or) means skin or hide.
Verb ערה ('ara) also means to be naked or bare. Nouns ערה ('ara), מערה (ma'ara) and מער (ma'ar) refer to bare or exposed places. Nouns ערוה ('erwa) and עריה ('erya) mean nakedness or exposure. Noun תער (ta'ar) denotes a thing that makes bare: a razor or sheath of a sword.
For a meaning of the name Ar, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read City.
BDB Theological Dictionary offers: "usually interpreted as capital city (ער = עיר)"