Ass in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

as (chamowr or chamor, compare Arabic chamar, apparently connected with Arabic root 'achmar, "red," but referred by some to root hamal, "to carry"; also, but less commonly, both in Hebrew and in Arabic, 'athon, Arabic 'atan, used in Arabic only of the females; pereh, or pere', and `aradh, or `arodh, Arabic 'ard, "wild ass," and also `ayir, Arabic `air, "a young" or "wild ass"). 1. Names: The name `arodh (Job 39:5) is rare; onos (Mt 21:2). 2. Meaning: (1) Chamor is derived from the root which means, in all probability, "to carry a burden" (see Furst, Handworterbuch, ch-m-r ii), or "heap up." While no analogies are contained in the Old Testament this root occurs in New Hebrew. The Aramaic chamer, means "to make a ruin-heap" (from which the noun chamor, "a heap," used in Jdg 15:16 in a play of words: "With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of an ass have I smitten a thousand men"). The root may also mean "to be red." In this case the nominal form chamor may have been derived from the reddish-brown skin of a certain type of the ass. (2) 'Athon, Assyrian 'atanu and Aramaic 'atana', is derived from 'atha' "to come," "go," etc. (Furst suggests that it may be derived from 'athan, Aramaic `adhan, "to be slender," "docile," etc.); 'athonoth tsechoroth, "red-white asses" (Jdg 5:10) designates a better breed...

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