🔼The name Shimron: Summary
- Guardian, Watching
- From the verb שמר (shamar), to keep or guard.
🔼The name Shimron in the Bible
There is one man and one city named Shimron in the Bible, but note that the name Shimron was identical to Shomron (the Hebrew name for Samaria) until the Masoretes punctuated them differently at some time in the Middle Ages.
The Shimrons of the Bible are:
- One of the sons of Issachar, who was one of the sixty-six proto-Israelites to make the move from Canaan to Goshen in Egypt (Genesis 46:13). This Shimron became the patriarch of the Shimronites (Numbers 26:24; spelled שמרן and שמרני).
- A village in the territory allotted to the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:15), which is probably the same as Shimron-meron (Joshua 12:20). Before this town befell Zebulun, it was a Canaanite city with its own king. This king joined Jabin, king of Hazor, and many others in an alliance against Israel under Joshua, after the battle of Gibeon (Joshua 11:1). In the resulting battle of Merom, the alliance was defeated and Hazor was razed to the ground (Joshua 11:13).
🔼Etymology of the name Shimron
The name Shimron comes from the verb שמר (shamar), meaning to keep, guard, observe or give heed:
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.
The name Shimron is formed by means of the familiar ון (waw-nun) extension, which personifies or localizes the root.
For a meaning of the name Shimron, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Watching. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) takes the waw-nun couple to be an intensive and reads Vigilant Guardian. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate this name but does list it under the verb שמר (shamar).