🔼The name Shammoth: Summary
- Wastes, Deserts
- From the noun שמה (shamma), waste, from the verb שמם (shamen), to be appalled or desolate.
🔼The name Shammoth in the Bible
🔼Etymology of the name Shammoth
The name Shammoth comes from the verb שמם (shamen), meaning to be appalled or desolate, and appears to be the plural form of the feminine noun שמה (shamma), meaning waste:
The verb שמם (shamem) means to be desolate, devastated or abandoned. It usually describes a literal empty place but may also be used to describe a mental state, in which case it refers to being appalled.
Adjective שמם (shamem) means devastated or deserted. Nouns שממה (shemama), שמה (shamma), שממון (shimmamon) and משמה (meshamma) denote various forms and degrees of waste, devastation, horror or appalment.
Verb ישם (yasham) is a by-form of the previous and means the same, albeit with an apparent emphasis on dry and arid lands. Noun ישימון (yeshimon, or variants) refers to desolate regions and mostly describes deserts. Noun ישימה (yeshima) describes the mental equivalent (whatever that might be).
Noun שמים (shamayim) means heavens. It's a plural form of a non-existing singular word שמי (shamay), coming from an assumed root שמה (shama). Whether or not this word is formally related to the above, to the ancients the heavens were clearly known as a vast emptiness that filled the observer with existential horror.
Equally striking is the noun שם (shem), which means name or renown. This suggests that the ancients saw someone's empty head as the same howling infinite as empty space, and all formal knowledge of the whole of creation that a person might accrue equal to this person's name.
For a meaning of the name Shammoth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Waste and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Deserts. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name but does confirm that it's plural of שמה.