🔼The name Parah: Summary
- Young Heifer
- From the verb פרה (para), to be fruitful.
🔼The name Parah in the Bible
The name Parah occurs only one time in the Bible. It's the name of a village which came to exist within the borders of the territory allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:23).
🔼Etymology of the name Parah
The name Parah looks like it has to do with either the noun פרה (para), meaning cow from the root פרר (parar), or the identical verb פרה (para), meaning to be fruitful:
The verb פרר (parar) means to split, divide and usually make more, expand or multiply. This root belongs to an extended family that also contains פרץ (paras), to break (through), פרש (paras and parash), to spread out or declare, פרס (paras), to break in two or divide, and פאר (pa'ar) means to branch out or to glorify.
The Bible is not concerned with political goings on and only with the evolution of the wisdom tradition, and thus with the rise of information technology (from cave paintings to blockchain). That said: our word "science" comes from the Greek verb σξιζω (schizo), which means to split, divide and make more.
Verb פרה (para) means to bear fruit or be fruitful. Noun פרי (peri) means fruit in its broadest sense. Noun פר (par) means young bull and פרה (para) means young heifer. Note that the first letter א (aleph) is believed to denote an ox-head, while its name derives from the verb אלף (alpeh), to learn or to produce thousands. The second letter, ב (beth) is also the word for house (or temple or stable). The familiar word "alphabet," therefore literally means "stable of bulls" or "house of divisions" or "temple of fruitful learning".
Noun פרא (para') is a word for wild donkey. The young bovines were probably known as fruits-of-the-herd, but donkeys in the Bible mostly symbolize lone wanderings and humility.
Noun פור (pur) means lot (hence the feast called Purim). Noun פורה (pura) denotes a winepress and פרור (parur) a cooking pot.
For a meaning of the name Parah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Young Cow and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Village Of Heifers (although the village-part is not reflected by our name). BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun פרה (para), meaning cow, and also lists it under the root פרר III.