🔼The name Ekron: Summary
- Extermination, Uprooting
- From the verb עקר (aqar), to uproot.
🔼The name Ekron in the Bible
There's only one Ekron is the Bible. It's the name of one of the cities of the Philistines, also known as the Five cities of the Philistines (in a fleeting moment of flippancy BDB Theological Dictionary even talks about the Famous Five).
It's curious that here are six cities mentioned but only five lords (also see Judges 3:3), but perhaps two cities were simply run by one regent.
When the Philistines swipe the Ark of the Covenant they send it on a tour of destruction through their country. When it reaches Ekron and the Ekronites (עקרנים, 1 Samuel 5:10) loudly express their objections the Philistines finally get the message and send the Ark back to Israel.
🔼Etymology of the name Ekron
The name Ekron comes from root עקר (aqar), meaning to uproot:
It's not clear what the unused verb עקר ('aqar) may have meant but apparently it had to do with thwarting the proper propagation or forward motion of living things. Noun עקר ('eqer) means offshoot or member, and the derived verb עקר ('aqar) means to pluck or uproot. This verb may also describe the practice of hamstringing horses or other animals, for various reasons. Adjective עקר ('aqar) means barren or barrenness of either males or females, mankind or animals.
Note that Zephaniah engages in wordplay when he writes, "... and Ekron will be uprooted..". (Zephaniah 2:4).
The NOBSE Study Bible Name List apparently goes with a general, underlying meaning of the root עקר and reads Extermination. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sticks to the meaning of to uproot and interprets it as Uprooting, Emigration.