🔼The name Peresh: Summary
- Emerging Belly Content
- From the noun פרש (peresh), fecal matter or exposed bowels.
🔼The name Peresh in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Peresh
The name Peresh is spelled the same as the root group פרש, and by the Medieval Masoretes pointed the same as the noun פרש (peresh), meaning dung or belly-content:
The roots פרס (paras) and פרש (paras) most basically speak of a sudden bursting forth in a wide spray of elements of something that was previously well concealed.
Verb פרס (paras) means to break and divide in equal shares (of bread, for instance). Noun פרס (peres) denotes a kind of unclean bird (perhaps a vulture, or perhaps a didactyl, i.e. a two-toed bird; an ostrich). Noun פרסה (parsa) means hoof (both cloven and solid ones) but may also refer to a whole animal as unit-of-the-herd (like our modern word "head"). Noun פרש (parash) means either horse or horseman as unit-of-the-army.
Verb פרש (paras) means to spread or spread out (of wings, hands, nets, and so on). Noun מפרש (mipras) refers to either a spreading out or a thing spread out.
Verb פרשׁ (parash) means to declare with precision, make wholly obvious or fully explain. Noun פרשה (parasha) refers to a precise statement. Noun פרש (peresh) means fecal matter or the exposed bowels of a sacrificial animal (and remember that to the ancients the emotional heart resided in the bowls).
Note that our modern word "science" shares a root with the word "schism," and literally describes the act of breaking and spreading out.
For a meaning of the name Peresh, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Dung and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Excrement. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun פרש (peresh).
Note that our name doesn't specifically refer to fecal matter but rather more generally to Belly Content, and brings to mind the mass of slithering intestines that emerges when an animal is slaughtered and disemboweled.
Peresh's brother is named Sheresh, which appears to mean To Uproot, and these two names reflect the same archetypal duality as do the characters of Cain and Abel: the farmer and the shepherd. Our names Peresh and Sheresh reflect the first acts of the process of food preparation: the gutting of an animal and the uprooting of a plant.