Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The root שמל (sml) is not used in the Bible as verb, but in Arabic it occurs with the meaning of to enclose or envelop, and that's why scholars assume that the root is שמל (sml) and not שלם (slm). Its derivations, namely, come in both forms:
- The feminine noun שמלה (simla), meaning wrapper, that is a robe or mantle; an outer garment (Genesis 45:22, Ruth 3:3, Isaiah 3:6).
- The feminine noun שלמה (salma), which appears to be the previous noun but with the middle two letters transposed (Exodus 22:8, Joshua 9:5, Nehemiah 9:21). What exactly this transposition signified isn't clear but there is no obvious difference in meaning between the form שלמה (salma) and שמלה (simla), and these are generally considered two variant spellings of the same noun. But note that before the Masoretes devised their vowel notations in the Middle Ages, our noun שלמה (salma) looked like it came from the familiar root שלם (shalem), meaning wholeness or peacefulness.