🔼The name Aran: Summary
- Wild Goat, Ark
- From the verb ארן ('aran), to be agile, aroused or at the center of cheer.
🔼The name Aran in the Bible
The only Aran in the Bible is a son of Dishan and brother of Uz (Genesis 36:28), and Dishan is the seventh son of Seir the Horite (and not, as pretty much all the sources maintain, of Esau; see Genesis 36:20).
🔼Etymology of the name Aran
The name Aran comes from the curious root group ארן ('rn):
The cheerful verb רנן (ranan) means to produce a ringing cry, either out of joyous cheer, distress or to introduce a declaration of some sort. Nouns רן (ron), רנה (rinna) and רננה (renana) all describe ringing cries. Plural noun רננים (renanim) refers to birds that deliver piercing cries.
The unused verb ארן ('aran) appears to have meant to be nimble, agile, or even high up or aroused, and in cognate languages it yields a noun for a kind of wild mountain goat. The indeed Biblical noun ארן ('oren) means fir or cedar.
The noun ארון ('aron) is the word that is usually translated with Ark (that is the Ark of the Covenant, not the Ark of Noah). But this noun is also used for the coffin in which Joseph's bones were repatriated, or the chest in the temple in which money was collected.
It's not clear whether these boxes were known from the wood they were made of (namely the sprightly fir or cedar), caused society to be nimble, agile or elevated, or perhaps because these boxes were designed to exist within a collective verbal expression from bystanders (after the verb רנן, ranan).
For a meaning of the name Aran, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary all go with the Syriac word that denotes a kind of wild goat and read Wild Goat.
But Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) additionally mentions a Hebrew onomasticon (perhaps that of Hillerus, or even older) that traditionally translates the name Aran with An Ark (see the name Aaron).