🔼The name Basemath in the Bible
There are two or three women named Basemath (or Basemeth according to some translations) in the Bible:
- The first Basemath is a wife of Esau and daughter of Elon the Hittite (Genesis 26:34). In Genesis 36:2 Esau marries Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite. That means that Adah is either a sister of Basemath the First, or the same woman with two names.
- The latter is probable, because in Genesis 36:3 Esau marries Basemath the Second, who is the daughter of Ishmael and a sister of Nebaioth. A few chapters before, in Genesis 28:9, Esau marries Mahalath, who is also a daughter of Ishmael, and a sister of Nebaioth. So Mahalath may be a sister of Basemath the Second but may also be the same woman with two names.
- Finally, there is Basemath, a daughter of Solomon who married Ahimaaz (1 Kings 4:15).
🔼Etymology of the name Basemath
The name Basemath comes from the common Hebrew noun בשם (basam) meaning spice, sweet smell:
The added letter ת (taw) may be a remnant of a plural form. That way the name Basemath means Sweet Fragrances.
For a meaning of the name Basemath, BDB Theological Dictionary reads Perfume but adds a question mark. NOBSE Study Bible Name List renders Fragrance. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Pleasant Smelling.