🔼The name Nain: Summary
- Pleasant, Beauty
- From verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant.
🔼The name Nain in the Bible
The village of Nain is mentioned only once in the Bible. Only the gospel of Luke mentions the account of the only son of a widow of the Galilean village of Nain, whom Jesus raised from the dead while his body was on its way to be buried (Luke 7:11).
The fact that Luke submits neither the name of the widow, nor that of her son, nor that of the latter's father or even their tribe is a clear indication that Luke is not concerned with the historical veracity of this story.
The gospel of Luke was written in the years following the destruction of the temple of YHWH in 70 AD, and the original audience of this work would not for a moment have thought that Luke had inserted an anecdotal tall tale into his gospel. To them, the widow's son would have been an obvious reference to Hiram, the builder of the temple (1 Kings 7:13).
🔼Etymology of the name Nain
Scholars generally agree that the Greek name Nain is a transliteration of the original Hebrew name נעין (na'in) or even נעים (na'im), which in turn would have derived from the root נעם (na'em), meaning to be pleasant:
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 Nain, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Pleasant. Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary) suggests Beauty.