🔼The name Hazar-shual: Summary
- Village Of The Fox
- From (1) the noun חצר (haser), village, and (2) the noun שועל (shu'al), fox or jackal.
🔼The name Hazar-shual in the Bible
There is only one village named Hazar-shual in the Bible. This village was situated in the south of the territory of Judah, close to the border with Edom (Joshua 15:28). When the landless tribe of Simeon had to be housed in Judah, several towns of Judah were given to Simeon, and Hazar-shual was one of them (Joshua 19:3, 1 Chronicles 4:28). After the return from the Babylonian exile, Hazar-shual was repeopled by families from Judah (Nehemiah 11:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Hazar-shual
The name Hazar-shual obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the noun חצר (haser), meaning village:
The verb חצר (hasar) relates to the first visual manifestations of a gathering or emergence of some sort: to begin to cluster or gather or emerge.
The noun חציר (hasir) means grass, which is the first plant to sprout after, say, a fire. Noun חציר (hasir) means leek (a bigger version of grass) and חצצרה (hasosra) means trumpet, i.e. the perhaps leek-like instrument with which a gathering of humans is instigated.
The noun חצר (haser) denotes a hamlet or settlement or loose, rudimentary federation; the initial beginning of what some day might become a village or even a city. Noun חצר (haser) refers to an enclosure in the architectural sense, or even a court in the sense of it being a place where people loosely gather.
The second part of our name is the same as the noun שועל (shu'al), meaning fox or jackal:
The unused verb שעל (sha'al) probably had to do with being low or concave. Its derived nouns are used a mere few times: noun שעל (sho'al) appears to describe a cupped or hollow hand and noun משעול (mish'ol) apparently describes a hollow road between vineyards. Noun שועל (shu'al) describes a fox or jackal, which was apparently proverbially known as a hollow-backed, sneaky, begging low life.
For a meaning of the name Hazar-shual, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fox Village, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Village Of The Fox. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret Hazar-shual but does list it under the noun חצר (haser).