🔼The name Shema: Summary
- Sound; Report, Rumor, Hearing, Fame
- From the noun שמע (shema'), sound, from the verb שמע (shama'), to hear.
🔼The name Shema in the Bible
There are four men and one city named Shema in the Bible (although this name is spelled the same as Shama). The city named Shema was located in the territory of the tribe of Judah, near the southern border with Edom (Joshua 15:26).
The men named Shema are:
- A son of Hebron, who was a descendant of Caleb of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:43).
- The grandfather of Bela of Reuben who lived in Aroer prior to the formation of the Israelite kingdom (1 Chronicles 5:8).
- One of the sons of Elpaal, who was a son of Shaharaim of Benjamin and his wife Hushim whom he later divorced. This Shema shared leadership over their family with his brother Beriah. Their family lived in Aijalon and successfully battled the people of Gath (1 Chronicles 8:13). In 1 Chronicles 8:21 this man is called Shimei.
- One of the men who stood by Ezra the Reformer as he publicly read from the Book of the Law (Nehemiah 8:4).
🔼Etymology of the name Shema
The name Shema is identical to the noun שמע (shema'), meaning sound (as used only in Psalm 150:5). It comes from the verb שמע (shama'), meaning to hear:
The verb שמע (shama') means to hear and may also mean to understand or obey. Noun שמע (shema') means sound. Nouns שמע (shoma') and שמועה (shemu'a) mean tidings, report or mentions. Noun השמעות (hashma'ut) describes that which is caused to be heard. Noun משמע (mishma') means rumor or a thing heard. Noun משמעת (mishma'at) refers to a group or listeners.
For a meaning of the name Shema, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Report, Rumor. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Hearing, Fame. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun שמע (shema'), meaning Sound.