🔼The name Naamathite: Summary
- Pleasantness, One From Pleasantville, Hedonist
- From the verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant.
🔼The name Naamathite in the Bible
The name Naamathite looks like an ethnonym, which is a word that describes where someone is from. In this case, a Naamathite would be someone from Naamath (נעמת). No place called Naamath is mentioned anywhere in the Bible, but perhaps Naamath is an older spelling of the name Naamah (נעמה), which was the name of a town in Judah (Joshua 15:41).
🔼Etymology of the name Naamathite
The name Naamathite comes from the verb נעם (na'em) meaning to be pleasant, sweet, delightful, 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 Naamathite, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Pleasantness. NOBSE Study Bible Name List does not translate Naamathite but interprets it as "an inhabitant of Naamah," and translates Naamah with "sweet, pleasant". BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret the name Naamathite but does list it under the verb נעם (na'em I) meaning to be pleasant.
If Zophar the Naamathite was indeed simply an inhabitant of a town simply called Naamath, he would thus be known as One From Pleasantville. But perhaps Zophar, as well as the other characters of the story of Job, aren't merely individual guys with irrelevant names but rather personifications of the major schools of thought in the Bronze Age. Hebrew ethnonyms are common adjectives and the character of Zophar might represent Hedonism — perhaps after the Siduri character of the Gilgamesh account.