🔼The name Salmon: Summary
- Robe Man, Coat Rack
- From the noun שלמה (salma), mantle or robe.
🔼The name Salmon in the Bible
The one and only Salmon of the Bible is mentioned three times, once in the Old Testament and twice in the New. Salmon was a son of Nahshon and the father of Boaz, the great-grandfather of David, and therefore also an ancestor of Jesus mentioned both by Matthew (1:4 and 1:5) and Luke (3:32) as Σαλμων.
It's not clear how this ancestor of Christ was known by his contemporaries because, for some evenly obscure reason, his name evolves from שלמא (Salma') in 1 Chronicles 2:11 to שלמה (Salma) in Ruth 4:20 and finally becomes שלמון (Salmon) in Ruth 4:21.
The KJV and Darby translations make mention of a Salmon in Psalm 68:14, but this is צלמון, probably better transliterated as Zalmon.
🔼Etymology of the name Salmon
The name Salmon could be seen as one of three variants of the same name, and since the variant spelled שלמה is the same as a noun that means garment, the name Salmon is rendered that same meaning.
The waw-nun extension is a common Hebrew device to turn a root's core meaning into the quality of a person or place. Note the striking nod to this name in the scene where the men who stoned Stephen laid their robes at the feet of young Saul, later Paul (Acts 7:58):
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 Salmon, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Garment. Neither NOBSE Study Bible Name List nor BDB Theological Dictionary offers an interpretation of this name.
Note that the until the Masoretes added their vowel points to the Hebrew text, the name Salmon could be easily construed to derive of the root שלם (shalem), from whence from the familiar word שלום (shalom), meaning peace, and names such as Solomon and Absalom.