🔼The name Jorai: Summary
- Rainy, Whom Yah Teaches
- From (1) the verb ירה (yara), to cast or shoot, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Jorai in the Bible
The name Jorai occurs only once in the Bible. He is mentioned among the sons of Abihail, son of Huri of Gad, who lived in the land of Bashan (1 Chronicles 5:13). It's not clear at what time these men lived. The Chronicler submits that their names were enrolled in genealogies during the times of king Jotham of Judah and king Jeroboam of Israel, but these men may have lived long before that time.
🔼Etymology of the name Jorai
The consulted sources appear to agree on the verb from which the name Jorai was derived but the final interpretations vary considerably. The verb is ירה (yara), which in the Bible means to throw, cast or shoot, but which in other languages may have to do with to found:
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.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (rainy), a possessive form (my teaching), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Jorai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes for the adjective and reads Rainy. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) thinks the verb means to found and takes the final yod to be a mark of the Deity: He Will Be Built Up Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary interprets the verb in the sense of to teach, and also takes the yod to be a remnant of YHWH, and proposes Whom Yah Teacheth.