🔼The name Shimeathites: Summary
- Sons Of The Famous One, Audience
- From the verb שמע (shama'), to hear.
🔼The name Shimeathites in the Bible
The Shimeathites were a family of Kenite scribes that lived in Jabez of Judah, together with the Tirathites and the Sucathites, also scribal families (1 Chronicles 2:55). In the time of the Chronicler, these families were probably proverbially famous and well enough established that the author feels free of the duty of explaining why a lowly Canaanite tribe spawned three separate families of scribes who all lived in one town.
🔼Etymology of the name Shimeathites
The name Shimeathites derives 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.
The name Shimeathites is obviously an ethnonym but it's unclear what it points to. Since the Shimeathites lived at Jabez, it's unlikely that their name pointed at a location, say a town named Shima or Shimeath. They were therefore probably either named after their shared trade (namely listening, particularly to the Voice of the Lord), or else descending from a man named Shimei or Shamah or something like that.
For a meaning of the name Shimeathites Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names copies the interpretation of Jerome's Vulgate and reads Responsers, although Audience would be better. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer an interpretation but does list this name under the שמע (shama'), meaning to hear. NOBSE Study Bible Name List forgoes an attempt to translate this name.