🔼The name Shemiramoth in the Bible
In translated versions of the Bible there are two men named Shemiramoth:
- One of the Levite musicians who played on his harp set to alamoth when king David moved the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:18, 15:20 and 16:5).
- One of the itinerant Levite teachers of the Torah of YHWH, who were sent throughout Judah by king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:8.
But that the second person was called Shemiramoth was really an invention of the Masoretes in the second half of the first millennium AD. As they themselves noted (in the so-called Kethib), the traditional text read שמרימות (Shemrimoth — the difference is in the place of the letter י, yod), and that makes quite a difference.
🔼Etymology of the name Shemiramoth
The name Shemiramoth (שמירמות) consists of two elements, the first one being the noun שם (shem), meaning name or renown:
The second part of our name looks like it might be derived from the root-verb רום (rum), meaning to be high, lofty or arrogant:
However, the alternative spelling of שמרימות, which the Masoretes deemed a text error and corrected, seems to consist from two different elements. This other spelling seems like it starts with the form שמר (shamar):
And the second part of our name looks like it has to do with the verb מות (mut), meaning to die or to kill:
For a meaning of the name Shemiramoth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fame Of The Highest and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Most Exalted Name.
But the alternative spelling of our name could be construed to mean something like: Dregs Kill, or Death To The Thorn Bush, or perhaps even Death Watches.