🔼The name Shamir: Summary
- Hedge Of Briars, Sentinel
- From the verb שמר (shamar), to keep or guard.
🔼The name Shamir in the Bible
There are two towns and one man named Shamir in the Bible. Shamir the man is a son or descendant of an Amramite Levite family head named Micah, who was assigned temple duties during the reign of king David (1 Chronicles 24:24, spelled שמור, Shamur).
The towns named Shamir are:
🔼Etymology of the name Shamir
The name Shamir could be construed to be drawn from the familiar verb שמר (shamar), meaning to keep or guard, but, as many note, it's also identical to the noun שמיר (shamir), denoting some kind of briar or thistle, from the root שמר (shmr III):
The verb שמר (shamar) means to guard or to exercise great care over. Noun שמרה (shomra) means guard. Noun שמר (shimmur) means night watch. Noun אשמורה ('ashmura) or אשמרת ('ashmoret) refers to the night watch as unit of time. Noun משמר (mishmar) describes the "place or agent" of guarding, which may come down to either a prison or a guard, but it may also describe the keeping on some religious observances or something like that. Noun משמרת (mishmeret), literally meaning "with the function of watching," used in the sense of a charge or obligation; an official function of guarding. Noun שמרה (shemura) describes an eyelid.
Noun שמר (shemer) describes the dregs or residue that collects at the bottom of a bottle of wine. This word may stem from a whole other root, or it reflects the similarity between patiently standing through a night watch and a bottle ageing in a rack. This word may also describe a stagnant heart, either as a heart in which dregs settle out or a heart that's carefully guarded.
Noun שמיר (shamir) describes some kind of wild, thorny vegetation that covers large areas. Again, this noun may stem from a whole other verb, but a hedge of thorns is not unlike a perimeter peopled by armed guards, or even a tender heart that's guarded by sarcasm and a proneness to insult.
The noun שמור (shamor), fennel, equals the Greek noun μαραθον (marathon), and Greece's victory at the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) made the whole world Greek.
For a meaning of the name Shamir, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes for the noun שמיר (shamir), assumes that this word means "a thorn" rather than "territory covering hedge of briars" and reads A Sharp Point, which is rather askew. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) also proposes A Sharp Point but nevertheless refers to the verb שמר (shamar) and adds A Guard. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun שמיר (shamir), which BDB translates with "thorn(s), adamant, flint".