🔼The name Havvoth-jair: Summary
- Villages Of The Enlightener
- From (1) the verb חוה (hawa), to lay out in order to live collectively, and (2) the name Jair, from the verb אור ('or), to shine.
🔼The name Havvoth-jair in the Bible
There's only one Havvoth-jair in the Bible. It's the name that the judge Jair, son of Manasseh, gave to a cluster of villages in the vicinity of Gilead, after he conquered them (Numbers 32:41). The book of Deuteronomy tells the same story but pin-points the area that Jair conquered and named after himself: the region of Argob, also known as Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites (Deuteronomy 3:14).
The phrase חות יאיר also occurs in Joshua 13:30, 1 Kings 4:13, but following the context, all the major translations of the Bible read here "the villages of Jair". In Judges 10:4 we read about Jair's thirty sons who rode thirty donkeys and ruled the thirty cities that are called חות יאיר to this day. Most translation print Havvoth-jair here but Darby has "the villages of Jair". In 1 Chronicles 2:23 Geshur and Aram conquer חות יאיר, which NIV and JSP transliterate as Havvoth-jair, but which NAS, KJV, ASV, Darby and Young translate as "the villages of Jair" or something like that.
🔼Etymology of the name Havvoth-jair
The name Havvoth-jair obviously consists of two elements. The first part of our name is a plural form of the noun חוה (hawwa), meaning tent-village:
The verb חוה (hawa) means to lay out in order to live collectively, and describes investing one's personal sovereignty into a living collective like a symbiont. It's mostly translated as to prostrate, which is to submit oneself wholly and bodily to a collective or to the leader of that collective.
Another form of laying out is in proclaiming information that will lead to greater oneness among the hearers. The noun אחוה ('ahwah) means declaration, and is identical to the noun אחוה ('ahawa) meaning brotherhood.
Noun חוה (hawwa) describes a tent village, or the most rudimentary collective that operates as a living, symbiotic whole.
The second part of our name is the same as the name Jair, which comes from the verb אור ('or), meaning to shine:
The verb אור ('or) means to be light or to give light; to shine. This verb's primary derivative is the expectable noun אור ('or), meaning light. The 'metaphor' that relates light to wisdom may not be a metaphor, or at least not to the ancients. In our article on the verb נהר (nahar), meaning both to flow and to shine, we show that the ancients had a surprisingly solid grasp of Relativity Theory.
For a meaning of the name Havvoth-jair, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Tent Villages Of Jair. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names also translates the jair-part and reads Villages Of The Enlightener. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the noun חוה (hawwa), meaning tent-village.