🔼The name Parat: Summary
- From the verb פרה (para), to be fruitful.
🔼The name Parat in the Bible
Parat is the fourth of four rivers in Eden (the others being Pishon, Gihon, and Haddakel — Genesis 2:10-14). Even though most translations mention this river by its modern and New Testament name Euphrates (meaning Good Parat), the Old Testament consistently reads Parat. See our article on the name Tigris for a close look at the hypothesis that the story of the four rivers is about the evolution of human civilization rather than about physical rivers.
🔼Etymology of the name Parat
The letters ת (taw) and ה (he) sometimes alternate, especially in cases of older names. These tend to be spelled with the letter taw while the word it came from evolved from being spelled with a taw to being spelled with a he. And so scholars think that the name Parat most likely comes from the verb פרה (para), bear fruit, 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 (aleph), 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.
The name Parat means Fruitful. Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names treats Parat, but for Euphrates (=eu-parat; the good parat), NOBSE reads That Which Makes Fruitful, and Jones reads Fruitfulness.