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MARA (ma'ra, Heb. mārâh, bitter). A name adopted by Naomi instead of her own, which meant pleasant or delightful (Ruth.1.20).

MARAH (mā'ra, Heb. mārâh, bitterness). A place about three days’ journey from the Red Sea crossing, where the Hebrews found bitter water. When they complained, God showed Moses a plant whose foliage sweetened the water (Exod.15.23-Exod.15.26).

MARA mâr’ ə (מָרָ֔א, bitter). The name that Naomi chose for herself when she returned from Moab to her native country, bereaved of her husband and sons (Ruth 1:20).

MARAH mâr’ ə (מָרָ֖ה, bitter). At this place the Israelites found water when they had journeyed three days in the wilderness of Shur after their passage through the Red Sea. The water which they found there was brackish and undrinkable. Hence the name Marah, meaning “bitter” (Exod 15:23; Num 33:8, 9). At the murmuring of the people because of the condition of the water, Moses was shown a tree by God which he threw into the water, thereby miraculously sweetening the spring. The spring generally is located at the site of the present ’Ain Hawarah, forty-seven m. SE of Suez and about seven m. from the Red Sea.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

ma’-ra, mar’-a (marah, "bitter"): The term which Naomi applies to herself on her return from Moab to her native country (Ru 1:20). Changed beyond recognition, she creates astonishment among her former acquaintances, who ask, "Is this Naomi?" She replies, "Call me not Naomi" (i.e. "pleasant" or "sweet"), but "call me Mara" (i.e. "bitter"). In the light of her bitter experience, and her present pitiable plight, the old name has become peculiarly inappropriate.

ma’-ra, mar’-a (marah, "bitter"): The first camp of the Israelites after the passage of the Red Sea (Ex 15:23; Nu 33:8 f). The name is derived from the bitterness of the brackish water. Moses cast a tree into the waters which were thus made sweet (Ex 15:23).

See Wanderings of Israel.