🔼The name Hariph: Summary
- From the verb חרף (harap), either to harvest or reproach.
🔼The name Hariph in the Bible
There are two men named Hariph mentioned in the Bible:
- A patriarch of a family of 112 returnees from the exile in Babylon, mentioned in a long list of returnees (Nehemiah 7:24). Nehemiah's colleague Ezra prints a similar list, but where Nehemiah mentions the 112 sons of Hariph, Ezra speaks of 112 sons of Jorah, who may or may not be the same person (Ezra 2:8). Some scholars have proposed that Shephatiah the Haruphite (1 Chronicles 12:5) was a descendant of this Hariph, but that's little more than a wild guess.
- One of the Levites who had signed the sealed document (Nehemiah 10:19). This Hariph is obviously not the same as the previous one, because (a) that Hariph was probably already deceased having 112 male offspring, and (b) that Hariph was listed among the people, that is those not being Levites or Nethinim (temple servants).
🔼Etymology of the name Hariph
The name Hariph comes from either of the roots חרף (harap):
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 Hariph, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names relays the opinion of the brilliant Scripture Theorist Gesenius, who figured that since Hariph may also have been called Jorah, which means (autumn) rain, Hariph must mean Autumn Rain as well, but admits that this is a long shot. Jorah means rain which happened to fall in the autumn, and the name Hariph denotes s season is which it usually rained but these names are really quite separate. Hence Jones decrees: "this word is better interpreted Winter".
NOBSE Study Bible Name List too reads Autumn Rain. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation of our name but does list it under חרף (hrp I), and refers to the Arabic equivalent that means Autumn.