🔼The name Naharai: Summary
- Snorting, Hotly
- From the verb נחר (nhr), to snort vigorously, which appears to relate to the root חרר (harar), to be a central hub of heat.
🔼The name Naharai in the Bible
There's only one man named Naharai in the Bible. Naharai the Beerothite was one of the mighty-men of David, and this particular one appears to have been the armor bearer of the famous Joab son of Zeruiah (2 Samuel 23:37, 1 Chronicles 11:39)
🔼Etymology of the name Naharai
The name Naharai is drawn from the verb נחר (nhr), which most likely means to snort (vigorously):
The root חרר (harar) describes a society's central and enclosed source of heat. It thus may express a geographical depression, but more so a being hot and ultimately a being a ruler (whether by might, political clout or wisdom).
Verb חרר (harar I) means to be hot, burned or charred. Noun חרר (harer) denotes a parched place and noun חרחר (harhur) describes a violent heat or fever. The unused verb חרר (harar II) means to be free in cognate languages, which is the opposite of being a slave. Noun חר (hor) means noble or nobleman. The unused verb חרר (harar III) appears to refer to the enclosure of kilns and ovens, as the first ones were most likely built in natural hollows. The nouns חר (hor) and חור (hor) mean hole or cavern, but obviously relate to the previous word in that freemen surround themselves with walls and armies.
Verb חרה (hara) means to burn or ignite (in the Bible solely in an emotional way: to get angry). Noun חרון (haron) describes the burning of anger. Noun חרי (hori) refers to a general burning.
Verb חור (hawar) means to be or grow white (like ash or baked bricks). Nouns חור (hur) and חורי (huray) refer to any white stuff, including garments and linen, and noun חרי (hori) describes white bread or cake.
Verb נחר (nahar) looks very much like a passive or reflexive version of חרר (harar) or its participle. This verb isn't used in the Bible but nouns נחר (nahar) and נחרה (naharah) describe the vigorous snorting of a horse, and noun נחיר (nahir) means nostril (which in turn reminds of a cavern).
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (snorty), a possessive form (my snorting), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah), which is short for יהוה, which is the name YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Naharai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Snorting and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Snorter. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of the name Naharai.