Who is…

also known as: Zarah and Zara

Meaning: Sunrise (Matthew Easton) / Rising of light; i.e., joy of parents (Dr. Judson Cornwall & Dr. Stelman Smith)

The name “Zarah” appears in two King James Bible verses: Genesis 38:30; 46:12. In other Bible translations this name is spelled “Zerah.” The name “Zerah” appears 22 times in the New King James Version.

This was the name of various biblical men:

  1. Zerah, a duke (or chief) of Edom; grandson of Esau (son of Isaac) and Bashemath (daughter of Ishmael) (Genesis 36:13,17; 1 Chronicles 1:37)

  2. Zerah, twin brother of Perez; son of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38:30; 46:12; Numbers 26:20; 1 Chronicles 2:4-6); Matthew 1:3). Called “Zara” in the King James Version of Matthew 1:3)

    In Numbers 26:20, his tribe is called the Zarhites (Zerhites). He was the father of five sons: Zimri, Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara.

  3. Zerah, descendant of Simeon, probably his son (Numbers 26:13; 1 Chronicles 4:24)

    It has been suggested that this may the same person as Zohar (Genesis 46:10; Exodus 6:15), Simeon's son. Simeon was a son of Jacob and Leah. His tribe is also called the Zarhites (Zerhites).

  4. Zerah, a Gershonite Levite; ancestor of one of King David's choir leaders, Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:21)

  5. Zerah, Ethni’s father (Levite) (1 Chronicles 6:41) (possibly the same person as above)

  6. King Zerah—an “Ethiopian” [or “Cushite,” according to NIV] probably Osorkon II, the successor of Shishak on the throne of Egypt

    With an enormous army, the largest we read of in Scripture, he invaded the kingdom of Judah in the days of Asa (2 Chronicles 14:9-15). He reached Zephathah, and there encountered the army of Asa. This is the only instance “in all the annals of Judah of a victorious encounter in the field with a first-class heathen power in full force.” The Egyptian host was utterly routed, and the Hebrews gathered “exceeding much spoil.” Three hundred years elapsed before another Egyptian army, that of Necho (B.C. 609), came up against Jerusalem. [Matthew G. Easton]

  7. Zerah, the father of King Jobab of Edom (Genesis 36:33)

Author: Paul S. Taylor.