Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The broadly attested Semitic root שמח (samah) means to be high or uplifted, with nuances varying from an emphasis on pride, abundance or gladness and joy. In Biblical Hebrew, our root tends to lean toward to the joy nuance, and speaks of being high in spirit, rejoicing or being pleased with someone (Deuteronomy 33:18, Judges 9:19), with one's activities (Deuteronomy 12:7), in YHWH (1 Samuel 2:1, Joel 2:23), or his presence (Isaiah 9:3), or his salvation (Psalm 21:1). Our verb may describe a rejoicing heart (Exodus 4:14, Proverbs 23:15) or a boastful gloating (Isaiah 14:8, Micah 7:8). From this verb derive:
- The adjective שמח (sameah), meaning joyful or merry (Deuteronomy 16:15, Esther 5:9, Proverbs 15:13). On occasion this adjective is used substantially (Job 3:22, Proverbs 2:14, Amos 6:13, ).
- The feminine noun שמחה (simha), meaning joy or gladness (Genesis 31:27, Psalm 106:5, Isaiah 22:13, Joel 1:16).