🔼The name Jemimah: Summary
- From yemema, an Arabic word for dove.
🔼The name Jemimah in the Bible
Jemimah is the first of three daughters of Job who were born to him after his ordeal. Jemimah has two younger sisters, named Keziah and Keren-happuch. The author of the book of Job states that there were no women in the land more fair than the three of them (Job 42:15).
🔼Etymology of the name Jemimah
The name Jemimah is not a word that occurs in the Hebrew language and it's not immediately clear where it comes from. Job and his family lived in the land of Uz, and that's been placed near Arabia, so most scholars assume that the name Jemimah was derived from either of the Arabic nouns hamama or yemema, both meaning dove.
Hence, for a meaning of the name Jemimah, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and even BDB Theological Dictionary read Dove (yet BDB, states "perhaps" and Jones "as some conjecture").
To a Hebrew audience, however, the name Jemimah doesn't look at all like the word for dove — which is יונה (yona), the source of the name Jonah — but much rather like the word for sea, which is מים (mayim). The name Jemimah would form from using this word as verb (which isn't done in Scriptures but in the name-arena, anything goes), and making it feminine: She Who Acts Like The Sea.
Jones adds that the most ancient translations of the Bible, namely the Septuagint and the Vulgate, derive the name Jemimah from the noun יום (yom), meaning a day. The derived adverb יומם (yomam) means by day, or during daylight (Numbers 10:34, Job 24:16, Jeremiah 15:9). That would give the name Jemimah the pleasing meaning of Lady Daylight.