🔼The name Jarah: Summary
- From the noun יערה (ya'ra), honeycomb.
🔼The name Jarah in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Jarah
The origin of the name Jarah is disputed. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) and BDB Theological Dictionary both seem to maintain that the name יערה (Jarah) is a shortened form of יהוערה (Jehoaddah), and this is only possible when a scribe confused the letter ד (daleth or d) of the name Jehoaddah with the letter ר (resh or r), and wanting to create the name Jadah, created the name Jarah.
Here at Abarim Publications, we find this highly unlikely. To an untrained eye, the letters daleth and resh may look alike, but to a Hebrew scribe, they are as different as the letters O and D and Q are to us. It's quite common in the Bible for people to have two names, without this being elaborated on (compare Jethro and Reuel), and the name Jarah should be regarded as a proper, completely other name than Jehoaddah.
The name Jarah comes from the root group יער (y'r):
The verb יער (ya'ar) isn't used in the Bible and it's a complete mystery what it might have meant. Noun יער (ya'ar) is the common word for forest or thicket, and the identical noun יער (ya'ar) means honeycomb. It is, of course, perfectly possibly that these two nouns are not two but one, describing something general like a thing that consists of many elements, which contain energetic nutrients (either fruits or honey), and which are patrolled by ferocious animals. The latter noun also occurs as the variant יערה (ya'ra), honeycomb.
The name Jarah probably means either Forest or Honeycomb, although it probably reminded a Hebrew audience of whatever idea it was that both words were derived of. For a meaning of the name Jarah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Honeycomb.