🔼The name Heres: Summary
- Sun, Irritant
- From the noun חרס (heres), either sun or an irritated skin.
🔼The name Heres in the Bible
The name Heres occurs only once in the Bible. Mount Heres was situated in the territory allotted to the tribe of Dan, but the Danites failed to drive out the Amorites, and the latter continued to live on Mount Heres and some other locations (Judges 1:35). It took the rise of the tribe of Joseph to finally subdue the Amorites in that region.
🔼Etymology of the name Heres
The name Heres is identical to the noun חרס (heres), which both means sun and refers to some kind of skin disease:
Verb חרש (harash I) means to engrave or cut into something, often with the objective of storing information. Noun חרשׁ (harash) means engraver or cutter (of a wide range of materials). Noun חרשׁת (haroshet) means a carving. Noun חרישׁ (harish) means a plowing or plowing time, and nouns מחרשׁה (maharesha) and מחרשׁת (mahareshet) mean ploughshare (and remember the strong Biblical connection between spreading seeds and spreading words).
Perhaps a whole other verb (and perhaps the same one) is חרש (harash II), to be silent or to be deaf. How these two verbs relate isn't clear but perhaps information technology was reckoned as "speech yet silent" and "hearing yet deaf", or else the intersection might lay on the esoteric nature of information technology. Then as today, people who are highly skilled in it may seem like magicians to the rest of us. Adjective חרשׁ (heresh) means deaf and adverb חרשׁ (heresh) means silently or secretly.
Noun חרש (horesh) appears to refer to wooded heights. How that word fits in isn't clear (most scholars assume a 3rd verb: harash III) but it may connect to the rest via the noun חרש (heresh), magic. This rare noun is proposed to come from yet another identical verb, harash IV, but here at Abarim Publications we find this noun to match the previous stock neatly. Particularly when a craft is new and it's not clear what a new technology is supposed to do, scammers of all sorts arise.
Verb חרש (haras) was originally spelled identical to the previous (the difference between שׂ and שׁ originated in the Middle Ages). It means to scratch or lacerate, but instead of storing good information this root emphasizes deletion of bad information (a similar duality exists in the verb זרע, zara', to scatter to sow, and זרה, zara, to scatter to winnow).
Noun חרשׂ (heres) means earthenware or rather a fragment of earthenware. Noun חרס (heres) denotes an eruptive disease characterized by itchy skin irritation (note the alternation between the letters שׂ, sin, and ס, samekh). The feminine plural noun חרסות (harsit) or חרסית (harsit) mean potsherds.
Noun חרס (heres) is an unusual word for the sun and although scholars see no connection with the previous, here at Abarim Publications we surmise that the ancients saw a connection between baked clay and a tanned skin, both protective and both provoked by exposure to a source of heat.
For a meaning of the name Heres, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Sun. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret our name but lists it in conjunction with חרס meaning sun, and not חרס denoting a disease. Still, this name appears to emphasize a certain level irritation; an irritation that has the effect of building up a resistance (a tan) or even of provoking a review of held certainties.