🔼The name Naom: Summary
- Pleasantness, Favor
- From the verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant.
🔼The name Naom in the Bible
The name Naom occurs only once in the Bible. It's the symbolic name that YHWH gave to one of two staffs — the other he called Hebelim — with which he shepherded the "flock doomed to slaughter," as reported by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 11:7).
The staff Naom he cut in two, to break the covenant he made with all the peoples (Zechariah 11:10). The staff Hebelim he cut in two to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel (Zechariah 11:14).
Because the word for staff (מקל; meqel) is masculine, we count this name as the name of a masculine character.
🔼Etymology of the name Naom
The name Naom is identical to the noun נעם (noam), meaning pleasantness or beauty, 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 some obscure reason, the names Naom and Hebelim are among the very few Biblical names that are always translated in English Bibles. None of the sources we commonly use treat the name Naom; only BDB Theological Dictionary refers to it in passing in its entry on the noun נעם (noam), meaning Pleasantness or Beauty.
For a meaning of the name Naom, both New American Standard and New International Version read Favor; the King James Version, American Standard Version and the Darby translation read Beauty, and only the Jewish Society Publication has Graciousness.