🔼The name Naomi: Summary
- My Delight, Sweet
- From the verb נעם (naem), to be pleasant.
🔼The name Naomi in the Bible
Naomi is the wife of Elimelech, and the mother of Mahlon and Chilion (Ruth 1:2). They live in Bethlehem but move to Moab, where Mahlon marries Ruth and Chilion marries Orpah (see Ruth 4:10). After the men die, Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem, where Ruth meets Boaz, marries him and becomes an ancestor of Jesus.
As Naomi and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem the local women recognize Naomi and call her by name. Naomi responds by saying to call her Mara (Ruth 1:20). Whether the women actually do that is not known but the author of the book of Ruth disregards her wish and keeps calling her Naomi.
🔼Etymology of the name Naomi
The name Naomi is derived 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.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (sweet), a possessive form (my sweetness), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Naomi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the possessive form and reads My Delight. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Name reads Pleasantness, but adds Of The Lord, assuming that the yod is not an adjective-maker but indicative of the name YHWH.