🔼The name Jetur: Summary
- Defence, He Will Border
- From the verb טור (twr), to border.
🔼The name Jetur in the Bible
The name Jetur belongs to one man and one settlement that was probably named after the man:
- Jetur the man is one of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Genesis 25:15, 1 Chronicles 1:31). This man plays no further part in the Bible.
- Jetur the town belonged to the Hagrites, with whom the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh waged war (1 Chronicles 5:19). This town was probably named after Jetur the man, also because one of the two other Hagrite towns that the Chronicler mentions, namely Naphish, is also named the same as one of the sons of Ishmael.
It has long been believed that the country of Ituraea was named after the Ituraeans, who in turn descended from Jetur of Ishmael, but recent scholars either doubt this or disregard it.
🔼Etymology of the name Jetur
The name Jetur appears to be an active form of the unused verb טור (twr):
The unused verb טור (twr) probably meant to hover about, limit or border (it does so in cognates). Noun טור (tur) describes an enclosing row of stones, beams or ornaments. Noun טירה (tira) means encampment.
For a meaning of the name Jetur, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Defence (after the noun טור, tur). BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation of this name but does list it under the verb טור (twr). NOBSE Study Bible Name List plays it safe and lists no interpretation of our name.