🔼The name Ard: Summary
- From the verb ערד ('arad), to flee or be free.
🔼The name Ard in the Bible
The name Ard is assigned to one man in the Bible, although it looks like there are two. Ard is a son of Benjamin, son of Jacob and Rachel and brother of Naaman (Genesis 46:21) and Bela, Benjamin's first born. At the time when Moses and Eleazar conduct the second census of Israel, the families of Ard and Naaman (the ארדי; Ardites and the נעמי; Naamites) are collectively grouped under the sons of Bela (Numbers 26:40). This probably indicates that there was a sub-Benjaminite alliance of the biological sons of Bela and their cousins. Something similar occurs with Shem and Japheth, sons of Noah (Genesis 9:27), and Zerubbabel's two fathers.
🔼Etymology of the name Ard
The origins of the name Ard are a bit of a mystery, but — when we allow the letter א (aleph) to alternate with the letter ע (ayin), which occurs — it's possibly related to an Arabic verb meaning to flee:
The verb ערד ('arad) doesn't exist in extant Biblical texts but in cognate languages it means to flee or be free. A derived noun, ערוד ('arod), refers to the wild ass, and does occur in the Bible.
Verb רוד (rud) means to wander or roam restlessly. Noun מרוד (marod) means restlessness or homelessness.
For a meaning of the name Ard, NOBSE Study Bible Name List equates this name with the name Arod and reads an inexplicable Humpbacked for both. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names seems to see stronger relations with the name Arvad and reads Fugitive for Ard and Place Of Fugitives for Arvad.