“And it came to pass that Serug was thirty years old and he begat Nachor. And Serug lived two-hundred years after he begat Nachor and he begat sons and daughters.”
Some names in the Bible are more flattering than others. This one is not one of the more flattering ones… Nachor literally means, “snorter,” and is typically understood to refer to the kind of snort that an aquatic whale would make when they surface and snort, or blow out, the carbon dioxide stored in their bodies from long dives. Being called a “whale” is unflattering enough, but even more so when you realize that the ancient Hebrew culture was never overly fond of the water in the first place. One can speculate that perhaps this name came from the way the baby snorted or played, but that is entering into speculation. The reality is that we do not know for sure.
Yet, as unflattering as we might find the name to be, Nachor’s grandson — the son of Terah — would be named after him. That simple fact should remind us of the importance of honoring those who have gone before us and one way to do so is for our children to carry their names. There is a tribute that is made to that end and Terah saw that as a way to honor the one who had raised him up in the world. So often we are prone to live only thinking of ourselves; this is a reminder to us that we stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before us.