🔼The name Hara: Summary
- Hill, Mountainous
- From the noun הר (har), mountain.
🔼The name Hara in the Bible
The name Hara occurs only once in the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 5:26 Hara is mentioned among the locations to which the Assyrians deported several tribes of Israel. This little list of locations is mentioned several times in the Bible (2 Kings 17:6, 18:11), but only the Chronicler mentions Hara.
🔼Etymology of the name Hara
The name Hara is possibly a transliteration of an Assyrian name or word, so it shouldn't be expected to mean anything in Hebrew. But as it is spelled it looks like it has to do with the word הר (har), meaning mountain:
The noun הר (har) is the Bible's common word for mountain or hill. Intuition dictates that the root of the word for mountain probably has to do with being elevated, but that's not correct. In Hebrew thought, a mountain is not something that's high but rather a lot of something gathered. And so, a mountain became synonymous for a large but centralized group of people (Jeremiah 51:25), or even gods (Isaiah 14:13).
The obviously related verb הרה (hera) means to be or become pregnant. An association with the previous noun is obvious, although not because the stomach of a pregnant woman resembles a mountain. The Bible depicts nations as individual women even more than as mountains; the words אמה ('umma), meaning people and אם ('em), meaning mother are closely related. A pregnant woman is to her husband what a conceiving nation is to its deity.
The final letter א (aleph) does not relate to our noun הר (har), meaning mountain, but it could be regarded as prosthetic.
For a meaning of the name Hara, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Hill, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Mountainous. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret this name.