🔼The name Hareph: Summary
- Plucking, Autumn
- From the verb חרף (harap), either to harvest or reproach.
🔼The name Hareph in the Bible
There is one man named Hareph in the Bible, but the name of the Hariph mentioned in Nehemiah 7:24 is spelled the same as this name (the Masoretes pointed it so as to pronounce it the same as the similar name חריף, Hariph).
🔼Etymology of the name Hareph
The name Hareph comes from either of the verbs חרף (harap), but it's ultimately unclear which one (admits also BDB Theological Dictionary in an uncanny bout of generosity):
The verb חרף (harap) means to pluck or gather and an identical verb means to taunt, which suggests that there might be just one verb that demonstrates that taunting someone with sharp remarks is rather the same thing as harvesting an orchard with sharp tools.
Noun חרף (horep) means a (fruit-)gathering or harvest. It's often used to indicate the harvest season as time of the year, corresponding to our early autumn. The denominative verb חרף (harap) means to spend the harvest time (much alike our verb "to winter").
Noun חרפה (herpa) means taunt or reproach, and the similarity with the previous is either an inconsequential coincidence or else suggests that whoever is doing the taunting is harvesting the person taunted.
For a meaning of the name Hareph, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Plucking and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the slightly liberal Maturity ("i.e. the flower of life," as in: ripe for harvest, we assume).
BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name but does list it under the verb חרף (harap), meaning to pluck or gather, albeit accompanied with above reproduced disclaimer.