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Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault: Smyrna

Smyrna meaning

Σμυρνα

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Smyrna.html

🔼The name Smyrna: Summary

Meaning
Myrrh
Etymology
From the noun מור (mor), myrrh, from the verb מרר (marar), to be bitter or strong.

🔼The name Smyrna in the Bible

Smyrna is the name of a city in Asia Minor, in present day Turkey. It's now named Izmir and is situated on Turkey's western shore, a little farther north than Athens in Greece, across the Aegean Sea.

In the Bible the name Smyrna occurs only in the Book of Revelation. It's one of the seven churches to which this Book is addressed (Revelation 1:11). In Revelation 2:8 occurs the adjective Σμυρναιος (Smurnaios), meaning of Smyrna.

The message from Jesus to the congregation in Smyrna contains twice a reference to his resurrection (Revelation 2:8 and 2:11). That is probably no coincidence.

🔼Etymology of the name Smyrna

It's not uncontested where the name Smyrna might come from. It appears to be an adaptation from an ancient word, but it's not known which word and what it might have meant. But the adaptation upon which finally was settled is identical to the noun σμυρνα (smurna), which comes from the Hebrew and Aramaic word מר or מור (mor), meaning myrrh:

Excerpted from: Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary
מרר

The verb מרר (marar) means to be strong or bitter and can be used to describe tastes and smells, and hard or difficult situations.

Adjectives מר (mar) and מרירי (meriri) mean bitter. Nouns מרור (maror) and מרורה (merora) refer to any bitter thing, the former specifically to a certain bitter herb, and the latter to gall or poison.

Noun מררה (merera) also means gal. Nouns מרה (morra), מרה (mora), מרירות (merirut), ממר (memer), ממרור (mamror) and תמרור (tamrur) mean bitterness. The latter noun is spelled identical to the noun תמרור (tamrur), meaning marker or sign post, from the root תמר (tamar), meaning to be stiff or erect.

And speaking of such, the nouns מר (mor) and מור (mor) mean myrrh, a bitter and fragrant spice that was originally used to mark the tabernacle, but which came to be used to proclaim, olfactorily, the consummation of marriage. Hence, despite its links to words that mostly describe hardship, myrrh oil was known as the "oil of joy."

Verb מרה (mara) means to be contentious or rebellious, particularly against God. Noun מרי (meri) means rebellion.

The verb מור (mor) means to change. Perhaps the connection between the previous is coincidental but perhaps these words are indeed linked, as change is often reaction to bitterness or opposition. The noun תמורה (temura) means exchange.

🔼Smyrna meaning

The name Smyrna means Myrrh and is obviously related to the name Samaria and Marathon. Read our article on the name Nicodemus for a possible reason why Jesus referred so lavishly to his resurrection in his message to Smyrna.