The name Zimri in the Bible
The name Zimri is assigned five times in the Bible, firstly and most ominously as the Simeonite son of Salu, who brings his Midianite play mate Cozbi into the camp during the Peor incident (Numbers 25:14). Both he and Cozbi are executed by Phinehas.
Other men named Zimri are:
- A grandson of Judah through Zerah (1 Chronicles 2:6).
- A Benjaminite (1 Chronicles 8:36).
- A murderous and suicidal king of Israel for seven days, before Omri (1 Kings 16:8-20).
- A kingdom in Ethiopia according to BDB Theological Dictionary (Jeremiah 25:25).
Etymology of the name Zimri
The name Zimri comes from the fertile word-group זמר (zamar I, II & III):
The name Zimri is the word זמר post-fixed with the possessive yod. It may mean My Musician, My Gardener, My Mountain Sheep.
For a meaning of the name Zimri, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the undetermined creature and reads Pertaining To An Antelope. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names leans towards the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads Song Of The Lord, taking the yod to be not a possessive but a remnant of יה, the abbreviated form of the Name of the Lord: יהוה (YHWH).