🔼The name Abinoam: Summary
- My Father Is Delight, Father Of Pleasantness
- From (1) the noun אב ('ab), father, and (2) the verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant.
🔼The name Abinoam in the Bible
There's only one person in the Bible with the name Abinoam, namely the father of the famous general Barak of Kedesh-naphtali (Judges 4:6). Barak engages the army of Jabin, king of Canaan, under general Sisera, during the time of Deborah the judge of Israel. The battle ensues near Mount Tabor and the river Kishon, and Barak pushes the enemy as far as Harosheth-hagoyim. Sisera himself is killed by Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite (Judges 4:21).
🔼Etymology of the name Abinoam
The name Abinoam consists of two elements. The first element is the word אב ('ab), meaning father:
The noun אב ('ab) means father, but describes primarily a social relationship rather than a biological one. That social fatherhood was the defining quality of the community's alpha male, the one around whom all economy revolved and from whom emanated all instructions by which the 'sons' (בן, ben) operated. It's unclear where this word אב ('ab) comes from but the verb abu means to decide.
The second part of the name Abinoam comes from the verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant or beautiful:
The verb נעם (na'em) means to be pleasant, delightful or sweet. Derived nouns נעם (no'am) and נעמן (na'aman) mean pleasantness. Adjective נעים (na'im), means pleasant. The plural noun מנעמים (man'ammim) describes "sweets" or dainties. The adjective נעים (na'im) describes a soft or pleasant sound.
For a meaning of the name Abinoam, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Father Is Pleasantness. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Father Of Pleasantness, and BDB Theological Dictionary offers My Father Is Delight.