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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Names

Aharon

By Jeff A. Benner

The etymology or root of the Hebrew name Aharon (pronounced a’ha’ron) is difficult to determine. Many different possibilities have been proposed in many different dictionaries, some of which are: lofty, mountaineer, mountain of strength, illuminator, light bringer and teacher. There are two possible parent roots from which this name can come: אר (ar) and הר (har). The parent root אר (ar) is the root of the word אור (owr) meaning “light,” hence, the possibilities of illuminator, light bringer and teacher (as one who illuminates). The parent root הר (har) is the Hebrew word for hill, mountain and lofty. While we cannot say for certain which root is the origin of the name, its first occurrence in the Bible may provide a clue.

Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, ‘Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well; and behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you he will be glad in his heart’ (RSV Exodus 4:14)

It is possible that the ideas of “speaking well” and “glad in the heart” could be indicative of Aaron’s character as “bright.”




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