In 1st Chronicles 4:17, a man from the tribe of Yehudah by the name of Ezrah is listed as follows:

And the sons of Ezrah: Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon. And she bore Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa-- וּבֶן-עֶזְרָה--יֶתֶר וּמֶרֶד, וְעֵפֶר וְיָלוֹן; וַתַּהַר אֶת-מִרְיָם וְאֶת-שַׁמַּי, וְאֶת-יִשְׁבָּח אֲבִי אֶשְׁתְּמֹעַ.

This particular Ezrah's name is spelled with a "ה" and means "help", "aid/succor", and possible "enclosure".

Ezra HaSofer's name is spelled with an "א". This website makes a claim that due to that Ezra HaSofer's name could possibly mean "Strong Vision".

Is there a significant or particular reason for this (perhaps due to Aramaic influences)? Does the "א" significantly change the meaning of the name from "help" or "assistance" to something else?

As always articles, commentaries, references, and personal insight are always welcomed. Todah Rabbah, Shalom Uvracah.

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    Ending the name Ezra with an alef is an Aramaic influence. Consider the name Akiva, which in the Talmud Bavli is written with an alef on the end but in the Yerushalmi is written with a hei at the end. Ezra indeed means "help". I don't know about "strong vision". If anything, I've seen it suggested that Ezra is short for Ezra-el (עזראל) which would mean "Help of God".
    – ezra
    Jul 13, 2021 at 8:41
  • @ezra Ezra would know best lol. Todah Rabbah for your much-needed addition.
    – יהודה
    Jul 13, 2021 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


בית שמואל, שמות אנשים, אות ע'

עזרא אין בו ספק ובאלף בסוף משום שנתגדל בבבל נכתב בלשון ארמית

The Taz writes that it comes from Aramaic. Quoted in Beit Shmuel (Shemot Anashim, Ayin) and Aruch HaShulchan EH 129 Seder HaShemot. R. Moshe Ibn Habib (Ezrat Nashim, Shemot Anashim, Ayin) also considers this but is inconclusive.

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