🔼The name Arvad: Summary
- Wandering, Fugitive
- From the verb ערד ('arad), to flee or be free, or the verb רוד (rud), to wander restlessly.
🔼The name Arvad in the Bible
Arvad is the name of a Phoenician city built on an island north of Tyre, on the coast of Syria (Ezekiel 27:8). The people named ארודי (the Arvadite) are said to come from Canaan (Genesis 10:18), one of the sons of Ham (Genesis 10:6), who was a son of Noah. It's unclear whether there once was an ancestor named Arvad or that the Arvadites were an ethnically diverse people.
🔼Etymology of the name Arvad
The letters א (aleph) and ע (ayin) sometimes alternate, and thus the name Arvad looks like it was derived from the assumed Hebrew root ערד ('rd) or the possibly related verb רוד (rud) meaning to wander restlessly, or roam:
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.
The problem with this name is that there is a difference in syllables between the name Arvad and the word rud. The letter waw serves in the name Arvad as a consonant and in the word rud as a vowel, and that makes it, in all honesty, an entirely different letter. (The same situation can be found with the disyllabic name David that is supposedly derived from monosyllabic the word dud.)
NOBSE Study Bible Name List translates this name with Wandering. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Place of Fugitives. BDB Theological Dictionary lists the name but offers no translation.
The name Arvad is possibly a foreign word with only a projected meaning in Hebrew. But to any Hebrew audience it probably indeed sounded like Wanderer or Fugitive.