🔼The name Sirah: Summary
- Turning Aside, Rebellion
- From the noun סרה (sara), rebellion or deviation.
- From the noun סיר (sir), pot or vessel.
🔼The name Sirah in the Bible
The name Sirah — or more complete: בור הסרה or Bor-hasirah — occurs only once in the Bible. It's a place of unknown location, within a day's journey from Hebron, where David had his head-quarters before moving it to Jerusalem.
When the departed king Saul's general Abner became disgruntled over a remark that Ish-bosheth had made concerning a woman named Rizpah, Abner deflected to king David (2 Samuel 3:12). David's general Joab, however, didn't approve of this, and after Abner and company had met with David in Hebron, and had afterwards gone home, Joab sent messengers asking him to return. The messengers apparently caught up with Abner at the Well of Sirah, from whence they brought him back (3:26).
In Hebron Joab took Abner aside under the ruse of having something to discuss with him, and stabbed him to death in the gate of Hebron (3:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Sirah
The Bor-part of the name Bor-sirah (as some translations have it) is the regular noun בור (bor; see the name Bor-ashan), meaning cistern or well, which most translations simply translate and don't incorporate in the proper name.
The name Sirah is the same as the noun סרה (sara), meaning rebellion or deviation:
The verb סרר (sarar) means to be stubborn or rebellious, particularly of attitude (rather than active revolt). Adjective סר (sar) means stubborn or rebellious. Noun סרה (sara) means rebellion.
The verb סור (sur) means to turn aside. It may simply describe taking an exit of a road, but it may also speak of removal or even a coming to an existential end. This verb's sole derivation is the noun סרה (sara), meaning a turning aside or deviation. It's identical to the previous noun meaning rebellion.
BDB Theological Dictionary, however, decrees that our name has not to do with the identical word סרה (sara), but rather with the slightly different noun סיר (sir I), meaning pot:
There are two identical nouns סיר (sir), which are probably imported from foreign languages and are probably not related. Noun סיר (sir I) means pot or vessel. Noun סיר (sir II) means thorn.
For a meaning of the name Sirah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Turning Aside. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names strangely forgoes discussing this name. BDB Theological Dictionary lists our name both under בור (bor), meaning well, and under סרה (sara), meaning rebellion, but declares nevertheless and with unsubstantiated certainty that the name Sirah probably comes from the noun סיר (sir), meaning pot.