🔼The name Nimrah: Summary
- From the noun נמר (namer), leopard, or its parent verb.
🔼The name Nimrah in the Bible
The name Nimrah occurs only once in the Bible. It belonged to a place on the east side of the Jordan, which was a land good for grazing livestock, which was why the people of the tribes of Gad and Reuben chose to settle there instead of west of the Jordan (Numbers 32:3).
Because the land directly east of the Jordan was Moab, most scholars assume that Nimrah was the same as the Moabitic town called Nimrim and the one called Beth-nimrah.
🔼Etymology of the name Nimrah
The name Nimrah comes from the root נמר (nmr) of unclear meaning:
Noun נמר (namer) means leopard, the proverbially fast-running predator with the spotted pelt. It's unclear where this noun comes from but perhaps from a verb that means to glitter or that describes the purity of water.
None of the sources we routinely consult treat Nimrah as a separate name, but for Beth-nimrah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads House Of The Leopard and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names had House Of Pure Water. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but does list it under the root נמר (nmr) and lists a few suggestions of other scholars, which range from Spotted on account of the appearance of the ground, Place Of Leopard, having to do with leopard-based tribal names of that region, and Clear Water, due to the connection with proverbial mentions of the waters of Nimrim (Isaiah 15:6, Jeremiah 48:34).