🔼The name Assir: Summary
- Captive, Bound One
- From the verb אסר ('asar), to bind.
🔼The name Assir in the Bible
It's not clear how many different men named Assir there are in the Bible, but there are either one, two or three:
- One of the sons of Korah, the rebellious cousin of Moses, Aaron and Miriam (Exodus 6:24 and 1 Chronicles 6:22). According to Exodus 6:24, the two brothers of this Assir (or perhaps the two other subdivisions of the priestly "sons of Korah") were called Elkanah and Abiasaph.
- A son of Ebiasaph, son of Elkanah, son of the previous Assir (1 Chronicles 6:23). Because of the similarity of these names, BDB Theological Dictionary resolutely decrees these two Assirs to be the same, but this view is not shared by many other scholars, and seems unnecessary.
- One of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chronicles 3:17). Newer translations such as the ASV, NAS and NIV read Jeconiah "the captive", but older translations, including the King James Version, the Vulgate and the Septuagint print here the personal name Assir.
🔼Etymology of the name Assir
The name Assir is identical to the noun אסיר ('assir), which means (group of) prisoners:
The verb אסר ('asar) means to bind or tie up. Nouns אסור ('esur), אסר ('issar), מסרת (masoret) and מוסר (moser) all mean bond or band. Noun אסיר ('asir) describes a prisoner (a bound one) and the similar noun אסיר ('assir) refers to a group of prisoners or their joined bond.
Verb מסר (masar) means to bind in the sense of to incriminate or to attach a charge, mission or misdeed to a person. As such it may be used to mean to deliver up or offer.
For a meaning of the name Assir, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Prisoner and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Captive. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun אסיר ('assir).