🔼The name Rosh: Summary
- Head, Chief, Top
- From the root ראש (ro'sh), which has to do with primality.
🔼The name Rosh in the Bible
The name Rosh belongs to a man and to a region in the Bible.
Rosh the man is a son of Benjamin (Genesis 46:21), but other Biblical genealogies of Benjamin don't list Rosh. Rosh the land is mentioned only by Ezekiel in his apocalyptic vision of the attack of Gog of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:2-3 and 39:1).
It's unclear where Rosh the land might be located. As far back as the 19th century, scholarly enthusiasts have linked Biblical Rosh with the Rus of Russia, but the Rus appear to have originated in Sweden roughly in the tenth century AD, and were thus unknown to Ezekiel.
Of course, Ezekiel's vision could have theoretically contained our name, and Russia, like Rosh is situated in the north (Ezekiel 38:15), but it's doubtful that modern Russia would attack Israel with an army equipped with bows and arrows (Ezekiel 39:3).
🔼Etymology of the name Rosh
The name Rosh is the same as the noun ראש (ro'sh) meaning head or top:
The shape-shifting verb רוש (rush), ריש (rish), ראש (re'sh) or simply רש (rash) means to be disenfranchised; to have lost liberty and civil rights, usually due to poverty or conquest. Nouns ריש (rish) and ראש (ri'sh) reflect the state of being disenfranchised.
The verb ירש (yarash) means to enfranchise, to take possession of (at the implied cost of disenfranchisement of others, obviously). Nouns ירשה (yerasha), ירשה (yerushsha), מורש (morash) and מורשה (morasha) all mean possession. Noun רשת (reshet) denotes a net or a similar device to catch game with.
Noun ראש (ro'sh) expresses primality: chief, head, top, etcetera. It may also refer to the beginning of a period: adjective ראשון (ri'shon) literally means chiefly but is mostly used in the sense of previous or former. Noun ראשה (ri'sha) means pinnacle but may also refer to some past golden age or bygone glory days.
For a meaning of the name Rosh, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Head, Chief.
BDB Theological Dictionary deems Rosh "not identified", lists it under the root ראש (ro'sh) and confirms that it is identical to the primary noun, the herb and the Benjaminite name.