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").
The name `arodh (Job 39:5) is rare; onos (Mt 21:2).
(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...