🔼The name Hur: Summary
- Noble Man, Cavern
- From the root חרר (harar), to be a central hub of heat.
🔼The name Hur in the Bible
There are three men named Hur in the Bible:
- The most famous Hur is the grandfather of Bezalel, and a son of Caleb and Ephrath of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:19-20, 4:1, 4:4). This Hur also helps Aaron hold the hands of Moses up during Israel's battle with Amalek at Rephidim (Exodus 17:12). When Moses goes up the mountain to meet God, he leaves the seventy behind and leaves the people in charge of Aaron and Hur (Exodus 24:14).
- An unfortunate chief of Midian who was struck by Moses along with others (Joshua 13:21)
- The father of Rephaiah who is in charge of repairs to half of the district of Jerusalem during the period of post-exilic restoration (Nehemiah 3:9).
🔼Etymology of the name Hur
It's not clear what the name Hur is supposed to mean, and it's perfectly conceivable that the different names Hur meant different things to the original name givers. It seems plausible that it comes from the root חרר (harar):
The root חרר (harar) describes a society's central and enclosed source of heat. It thus may express a geographical depression, but more so a being hot and ultimately a being a ruler (whether by might, political clout or wisdom).
Verb חרר (harar I) means to be hot, burned or charred. Noun חרר (harer) denotes a parched place and noun חרחר (harhur) describes a violent heat or fever. The unused verb חרר (harar II) means to be free in cognate languages, which is the opposite of being a slave. Noun חר (hor) means noble or nobleman. The unused verb חרר (harar III) appears to refer to the enclosure of kilns and ovens, as the first ones were most likely build in natural hollows. The nouns חר (hor) and חור (hor) mean hole or cavern, but obviously relate to the previous word in that freemen surround themselves with walls and armies.
Verb חרה (hara) means to burn or ignite (in the Bible solely in an emotional way: to get angry). Noun חרון (haron) describes the burning of anger. Noun חרי (hori) refers to a general burning.
Verb חור (hawar) means to be or grow white (like ash or baked bricks). Nouns חור (hur) and חורי (huray) refer to any white stuff, including garments and linen, and noun חרי (hori) describes white bread or cake.
Verb נחר (nahar) looks very much like a passive or reflexive version of חרר (harar) or its participle. This verb isn't used in the Bible but nouns נחר (nahar) and נחרה (naharah) describe the vigorous snorting of a horse, and noun נחיר (nahir) means nostril (which in turn reminds of a cavern).
The name Hur may mean One Of The Burnings/ Nobles/ Holes/ Whites. For a meaning of the name Hur, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Cavern. BDB Theological Dictionary says to have no clue, and NOBSE Study Bible Name List either takes the name Hur from another language, or bends the meaning of Noble or Freeman into Splendor.