🔼The name Salma: Summary
- From the noun שלמה (salma), mantle or robe.
🔼The name Salma in the Bible
There are two men named Salma in the Bible:
- A son of Hur, the first-born of Ephrathah with Caleb of Hezron. This Salma was known as the father of Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 2:51 and 2:54; also see 4:4). This Salma is consistently spelled as שלמא.
- The son of Nahshon and father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. In 1 Chronicles 2:11 this name is spelled שלמא but in Ruth 4:20 it's spelled שלמה. In Ruth 4:21 (and in the New Testament) this man is called שלמון (Salmon).
🔼Etymology of the name Salma
When spelled with the final letter ה (he) the name Salma is the same as the Hebrew noun שלמה (salma), meaning mantle or robe. The spelling with the final א (aleph) is perhaps an Aramaic variant of the same:
The unused verb שמל (samal) probably meant to enclose or envelop (it does so in related languages). Noun שמלה (simla) describes an outer mantle or robe. This noun, curiously, also occurs in the form שלמה (salma), which has the two inner letters reversed and rather obviously resembles the familiar root שלם (shalem), meaning wholeness or peacefulness.
For a meaning of the name Salma, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Clothing and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Garment. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate the name Salma.