🔼The name Meraioth: Summary
- Rebellions, Rebellious
- From the noun מרי (meri), rebellion, from the verb מרה (mara), to be rebellious.
🔼The name Meraioth in the Bible
There are three men named Meraioth in the Bible, but this name may also be the source of the name Meraiah (which occurs once in the Bible). The men named Meraioth are:
- A high priest, son of Zerahiah and father of Amariah (1 Chronicles 6:6, 6:52, Ezra 7:3).
- A priestly son of Ahitub and father of Zadok, and progenitor of one of the priests who returned from exile (1 Chronicles 9:11, Nehemiah 11:11).
- The patriarch of a family of returnees of which a man named Helkai was the leader (Nehemiah 12:15). This Meraioth is probably the same as the Meremoth mentioned in Nehemiah 12:3.
🔼Etymology of the name Meraioth
The name Meraioth appears to be a plural form of the noun מרי (meri), meaning rebellion, from the verb מרה (mara), meaning to be contentious:
The verb מרר (marar) means to be strong or bitter and can be used to describe tastes and smells, and hard or difficult situations.
Adjectives מר (mar) and מרירי (meriri) mean bitter. Nouns מרור (maror) and מרורה (merora) refer to any bitter thing, the former specifically to a certain bitter herb, and the latter to gall or poison.
Noun מררה (merera) also means gal. Nouns מרה (morra), מרה (mora), מרירות (merirut), ממר (memer), ממרור (mamror) and תמרור (tamrur) mean bitterness. The latter noun is spelled identical to the noun תמרור (tamrur), meaning marker or sign post, from the root תמר (tamar), meaning to be stiff or erect.
And speaking of such, the nouns מר (mor) and מור (mor) mean myrrh, a bitter and fragrant spice that was originally used to mark the tabernacle, but which came to be used to proclaim, olfactorily, the consummation of marriage. Hence, despite its links to words that mostly describe hardship, myrrh oil was known as the "oil of joy."
Verb מרה (mara) means to be contentious or rebellious, particularly against God. Noun מרי (meri) means rebellion.
The verb מור (mor) means to change. Perhaps the connection between the previous is coincidental but perhaps these words are indeed linked, as change is often reaction to bitterness or opposition. The noun תמורה (temura) means exchange.
For a meaning of the name Meraioth, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Rebellious. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name.