🔼The name Ezrahite: Summary
- Born Of The Native, [Son] Of Dawn
- From the verb זרח (zarah), to rise or break out.
🔼The name Ezrahite in the Bible
The name Ezrahite (which has nothing to do with the Biblical name Ezra, by the way) occurs three times in the Bible, and there are two men endowed with it:
- Ethan, one of the four proverbially wise sons of Mahol, but whose wisdom was superseded by that of king Solomon (1 Kings 4:31). Ethan nevertheless fared well in the wisdom arena. So well even that one of his songs, a Maskil, has been preserved for posterity as Psalm 89 (Psalm 89:1).
- Heman, the author of Psalm 88, who was probably not the same as Heman, the brother of Ethan the Ezrahite (see our article on the name Heman for reasons why not).
🔼Etymology of the name Ezrahite
The name Ezrahite comes from the verb זרח (zarah), meaning to arise:
The verb זרח (zarah) means to break out or arise, and may describe the breaking out of leprosy, to the rising of the sun, to an outburst of joy or glory.
Noun זרח (zerah) means a dawning. Noun אזרח ('ezrah) describes a native (one who locally arose). Noun מזרח (mizrah) literally means place of rising, which is the east.
The letter א (aleph) is possibly prosthetic; it looks nice but it doesn't change the meaning of the name. But it might also come from the noun אזרח ('ezrah), native, which would make the Ezrahites the Natives or Born Of The Native. The final י (yod) of our name turns the core noun into an adjective, or rather an ethnonym, which is a word which tells where someone is from (like Israel, which is a noun, and Israelite, which is an adjective).
For a meaning of the name Ezrahite, Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes Sprung Up. BDB Theological Dictionary treats our name like an adjective and reads Of The Family Of Zerah, where Zerah (זרח, meaning Sunrise) is the father of five sons, two of whom are called Ethan and Heman (1 Chronicles 2:6). Our two Ezrahites are most likely not brothers. NOBSE Study Bible Name List interprets our name with "belonging to Ezrah" but note that this assumed name Ezrah (אזרח) does not occur in the Bible.