🔼The name Naarai: Summary
- Child Of Yah
- From (1) the verb נער (na'ar), to be young, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the shortened name of the Lord.
🔼The name Naarai in the Bible
The name Naarai occurs only once in the Bible. Naarai the son of Ezbai is listed as one of the mighty-men of David (1 Chronicles 11:37). The same mighty-men list is submitted in 2 Samuel 23, and although the two lists diverge (especially near the end, where our name Naarai occurs), our friend Naarai is probably the same as Paarai the Arbite (2 Samuel 23:35).
🔼Etymology of the name Naarai
The origin of the name Naarai probably lies somewhere in the root נער (na'ar):
The verb נער (na'ar) has three major nuances. Its core meaning is to be to be young, but it may also mean to growl and to shake or shake loose. Noun נער (na'ar) means a scattering and noun נערת (ne'oret) refers to a kind of plant-product that involved beating and scattering. These words occur just a few times in the Bible. Much more common are the words that have to do with being young.
Noun נער (na'ar) means young one or child of both sexes. The feminine version of this word, נערה (na'ara), commonly refers to a marriageable but unmarried young woman. Nouns נער (no'ar), נעורים (ne'urim) and נערות (ne'urot) mean youth or early life.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (shaky), a possessive form (my growl), 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 Naarai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Pleasantness Of Yahweh, which is difficult to defend. It seems that a Hebrew audience would not see this name as such. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Child Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate the name Naarai but does list it under the root נער (n'r).