🔼The name Arod: Summary
- Fugitive, Wild Ass
- From the verb ערד ('arad), to flee or be free.
🔼The name Arod in the Bible
The name Arod occurs just once in the Bible and is assigned to a son of Gad, son of Jacob and Zilpah (Numbers 26:17). Actually, in Genesis 46:16 we learn that his original name is ארדי (Arodi), but in Hebrew the name Arodi is indistinguishable from the ethnonym Arodite. By the time Moses and Eleazar conduct the census of Israel, the family of Arodi has collectively become known as the Arodites, and the name of their ancestor has become Arod.
🔼Etymology of the name Arod
It's a mystery where the name Arod comes from. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) remembers that the letters א (aleph) and ע (ayin) tend to alternate and takes the name Arod from a related Semitic root:
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 Arod, Alfred Jones reads Wild Ass. NOBSE Study Bible Name List seems to tap into a completely other range of words (or languages) and reads Hunchbacked. This may or may not be the meaning in some other language but not in Hebrew, where the word for hunchback is גבן (giben — Leviticus 21:20).