🔼The name Jorah: Summary
- From the verb ירה (yara), to cast or shoot.
🔼The name Jorah in the Bible
The name Jorah occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of one of the family heads of whom the family returned from the Babylonian exile, during the wave headed by Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:18). The near-same list of names occurs in Nehemiah 7, but Jorah doesn't occur there. Most scholars equate Jorah with Hariph (Nehemiah 7:24) but that is conjecture.
🔼Etymology of the name Jorah
The name Jorah is spelled the same as and pronounced only slightly different from the noun יורה (yoreh), meaning early rain, from the verb ירה (yara) meaning to throw, cast or shoot:
The verb ירה (yara) describes the bringing about of a unified effect by means of many little impulses (arrows, stones, words, instructions, rain drops, and so on). Noun יורה (yoreh) refers to rain that falls during the first period of the agricultural year, when seedlings bud but don't bear fruit yet. Noun מורה (moreh) may either also refer to early rain, or it means teacher, who is a person who teaches children who can't think for themselves yet. Noun תורה (tora), refers to any set of instructions (hence the familiar word Torah).
The verb ירא (yara') describes the same process, but rather from the perspective of the receiving "soil": to revere, to pay heed to, and in extreme cases: to fear. Nouns יראה (yir'a), מורא (mora') and מורה (mora) cover the broad spectrum between reverence and fear, between anything awe-inspiring and anything terrifying.
For a meaning of the name Jorah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Rain and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Autumnal Rain. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does list it under the verb ירה (yara).