And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Jacob a second son. And Leah said: “Happy am I! For the daughters will call me happy.” And she called his name Asher. Gen 30:12-13
Strong’s H833 אשר ashar, a primitive root, “to be straight, right.” The pictographs are aleph + shin + resh.
aleph א = the ox head, thus strength, power, leader
shin ש = two front teeth, thus sharp, press, eat, two, again
resh ר = the head of man, thus head, first, top, beginning, man
The concrete noun that is formed from the verbal root gives a clue as to the story. The noun is cord, and it is tied to the meaning of straight, in that when a weight is attached to one end of a cord and held above the ground, the cord hangs exactly vertical to the ground as a plumb line, and can be used to ensure that a wall is being straightly built. In ancient days, a cord was made when two (shin) strips of leather or sinew were attached at the top (resh) and then twisted together in such a fashion so as to lock their fibers. The story the pictographs are telling is of strong (aleph) cord (shin + resh) as a straight plumb line, so also upright.
To be happy in the Hebraic worldview is to be upright. Another way to say it, is that righteousness creates happiness and blessing. And we see the Scripture bears out this truth:
So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which YHVH your God is giving you for all time. Deu 4:40
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Deu 28:2
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psa 1:1-3
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord! Psa 119:1
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her. Pro 3:13-18
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law. Pro 29:18