Barak (name)

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Barak (Hebrew: בָּרָק, bārāq, "lightning"), is a masculine name of Hebrew origin. It appears in the biblical Book of Judges as the name of the Israelite general Barak, who alongside Deborah led an attack against the forces of King Jabin of Hazor.


The Semitic root B-R-Q has the meaning "to shine"; "lightning".[1]: p.122  The biblical name ברק Bārāq is given after Barak, a military commander who appears in the Book of Judges.

The Arabic cognate is بَرق barq (not to be confused with بَارَك bārak, which is cognate with Hebrew בָּרוּךְ‬ bārûch). The epithet Barcas of the Punic general Hamilcar is derived from the same root, as is the name of Al-Buraq, the miraculous steed of Islamic Mi'raj tradition.

Although the given name is mostly Jewish and found predominantly in Israel, it has occasionally been used by Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the early modern period, when given names from the Hebrew Bible were in fashion, as in the name of Barak Longmate, an 18th-century English genealogist.

Use as a given name[edit]

Use as a surname[edit]

  • Aharon Barak (born 1936), Israeli former President of the Supreme Court of Israel
  • Ehud Barak (born 1942), Israeli former prime minister
  • Valia Barak (born 1969), Peruvian journalist and television presenter
  • Keren Barak (born 1972), Israeli lobbyist and politician
  • Boaz Barak (born 1974), Israeli-American computer scientist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Murtonen, Aimo (1986). Hospers, J.H. (ed.). Hebrew in its West Semitic setting: a comparative survey of non-Masoretic Hebrew dialects and traditions. Leiden: E.J. Brill. ISBN 9789004088993.