🔼The name Gether: Summary
- Winepress Of Vision
- Circle Of The Winepress
- From (1) the noun גת (gat), winepress, and (2) the verb ראה (ra'a), to see or understand.
- From (1) the noun גת (gat), winepress, and (2) the verb תור (tur), to explore or survey.
- From the verb גור (gur), to fear.
🔼The name Gether in the Bible
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Gether
The meaning of the name Gether is debated. Jerome suggests that it consists of two elements, the first one being גת (gat), meaning winepress:
The verb יגן (yagan) probably meant to beat or press, since the derived noun גת (gat) describes a wine-press.
The second part of the name Gether, according to Jerome, may come from the verb ראה (ra'a), meaning to see:
The verb ראה (ra'a) means to see, and by extension to understand. It may mean to become visible (of, say, an angel) or to become understandable (of, say, a theory). Noun ראה (ro'eh) means either seer, or prophetic vision, and noun מראה (mar'a) means either vision as means of revelation, or mirror. Nouns ראית (re'ut) and ראות (re'ut) mean a looking. Nouns ראי (ro'i) and מראה (mar'eh) mean sight or appearance. Adjective ראה (ra'eh) means seeing.
Hence Jerome read in Gether the meaning of Winepress Of Vision.
Another possibility is an origin in the verb גור (gur III), meaning to fear:
The verb גרר (garar) means to drag or drag away, mostly in a circular or repetitive motion. Noun גרה (gera) means cud, or food that's dragged back up, chewed again and sent back down. The identical noun גרה (gera) denotes a unit of weight that served as currency. Noun גרגר (gargar) means berry and the plural noun גרגרות (gargerot) means neck, probably after their signature wagging motion.
The verb גרה (gara) means to strive or agitate strife, obviously not by means of one singular assault but rather by repeated provocations and withdrawals. Noun תגרה (tigra) means contention or opposition. Noun גרון (garon) is a second word for neck.
Verb גור (gur) means the same as the previous: to quarrel or stir up strife. Nouns גור (gor) and גור (gur) both denote lion cubs. Perhaps young male lions were named after the verb גור (gur) because they are expelled from the pride and are forced to roam adjacent territories.
The verb גור (gur), namely — or a second and identical verb — is also often used to describe to itinerate or temporary abide. Noun גר (ger) describes an itinerant; a stranger or foreigner. Noun גרות (gerut) may describe a lodging place for foreign travelers but may also be part of the name Geruth Chimham. Noun מגור (magor) means dwelling place or itineration. Nouns מגורה (megura) and ממגרות (mammegurot) describes storehouses, or places were goods were temporarily stored on their way to the market.
Perhaps a third identical verb גור (gur) means to dread, but perhaps it describes dread that is built up over time and from many little threats and suspicions. Nouns מגור (magor) and מגורה (megora) mean fear or terror, but note that the former is identical to the word meaning dwelling place, mentioned above. The verb יגר (yagor) appears to be a by-form of this third verb גור (gur), and also means to dread. The adverb יגור (yagor) means fearing.
Note that the letters taw and rosh are reversed in name and verb. This might either be because they have nothing to do with each other, or it could be that the name indeed followed from the verb through a process called metathesis, which is the transposition of sounds or letters in a word. Both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names seem taken by this idea: both read Fear for a meaning of the name Gether.
The obvious objection to a resort in metathesis is that (a) any name can be explained to come from any verb that has the same letters, and (b) a name only means something when that meaning is obvious.
A third possibility is that Gether indeed consists of two elements, but that the second element comes from the verb תור (tur), meaning to explore or survey:
The verb תור (tur) means to explore or survey and associates with a broad, circular or sweeping motion. Noun תור (tor) or תר (tor) appears to describe a circular braid of hair. Noun יתור (yetur), seems to mean a searching or range. Noun תר (tor) or תור (tor) means dove or turtledove.
Note that likewise the Greek word for dove, namely περιστερα (peristera), appears to be derived from the prefix περι (peri) meaning around or about. This suggests that to the ancients the dove stood symbol for abundance and being all around and everywhere, which explains the bodily form of the Holy Spirit.
Verb תאר (ta'ar) means to outline or trace. Noun תאר (to'ar), means shape or form. Verb תאר (ta'ar), meaning to draw an outline.
Following this etymology, the meaning of the name Gether would come down to something like Circle Of The Winepress.
BDB Theological Dictionary gives up altogether and declares the meaning unknown.