🔼The name Jerah: Summary
- From the verb ארח ('arah), to wander or travel, or noun ירח (yareah), moon.
🔼The name Jerah in the Bible
Jerah is one of the many sons of Joktan, one of two sons of Eber (Genesis 10:26). The Joktanites are the last mentioned Shemite generation before the tower of Babel is built. Joktan's brother Peleg eventually brings forth the family of Abraham.
🔼Etymology of the name Jerah
The name Jerah is identical to the word ירח (yerah) meaning month, and ירח (yareah), moon. The month was the primary unit of time in the Semitic world.
Where this word for moon comes from is unknown. Some have suggested it comes from ארח ('arah), wander or journey, as the moon is the most ambulant body in the sky:
The verb ארח ('arah) means to wander, travel or keep company with. Noun ארח (orah) means way or path. Noun ארחה (orha) denotes a caravan or traveling company. Noun ארחה (aruha) appears to refer to a traveler's food ration.
Noun ירח (yareah) means moon, and appears to relate to the previous verb. Noun ירח (yerah) means month.
Another common designation for the moon reflects its whiteness: לבנה (lebana) from the unused and not translatable root לבן (lbn), where also the name Laban (meaning White Guy) comes from.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names agree: the name Jerah means Moon.