🔼The name Jattir: Summary
- From the verb יתר (yatar), to be a rest or surplus.
🔼The name Jattir in the Bible
There's only one city named Jattir in the Bible. It was a city that was situated in hill country of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:48; here spelled יתיר but יתר everywhere else), which was later given to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:14). Much later, Jattir was among the towns to which David sent portions of the spoils that he had taken from the Amalekite raiding party that had previously sacked Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Jattir
The name Jattir comes from the verb יתר (yatar) meaning to remain over, be a rest:
The verb יתר (yatar) means to remain or to be a rest (a remainder). It may emphasize the survival of some carnage (being the last ones left), but it may also emphasize surplus (rest money after all bills are paid). Noun יתר (yeter) means remnant; יתרה (yitra) means abundance; יותר (yoter) means superiority; יתרון (yitron) means excellence.
The nouns יתר (yeter) and מיתר (metar) describe cords to tie things together with. This indicates that a remnant is not simply that what remains, but rather that which kept the original collective together in the first place.
For a meaning of the name Jattir, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Preeminence and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Pre-eminent or Lofty. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret our name and deems the root dubious. It's highly unlikely that anyone from a Hebrew audience would share BDB's dubiety, and not without further ado assume a firm and obvious connection between our name and the verb יתר (yatar).