Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
Scholars distinguish two or three separate roots עמר ('amar) but their underlying emphasis is on binding, gripping or being in the grip of something or someone.
The root עמר ('amar I) doesn't occur in the Bible, but (as BDB Theological Dictionary suggests) perhaps it's related to an Arabic verb that means to be abundant. Its derivations are:
- The masculine noun עמר ('omer), meaning sheaf (Deuteronomy 24:19, Ruth 2:7).
- The identical masculine noun עמר ('omer), which is a unit of measure used only in Exodus 16:16 to 16:36, and which is perhaps comparable to our modern word "bushel".
- The masculine noun עמיר ('amir), denoting a row of fallen grain (Amos 2:13, Micah 4:12).
- The denominative verb עמר ('amar), meaning to bind in sheaves (Psalm 129:7 only).
The verb עמר ('amar II), meaning to deal tyrannically with, occurs only twice in the Bible: Deuteronomy 21:14 and 24:7.
The verb עמר ('amar III) is omitted from the narrative of the Bible. But it exists in other languages, where it means to live or live long, or even to worship. The Biblical name Omri also exists in other languages, and it is believed to have come from this verb.