Naomi

na'-o-mi, na-o'-mi, na-o'-mi (no`omi, probably = "pleasantness"; Septuagint. Codex Vaticanus Noemein; Codex Alexandrinus Noemmei(n)): Wife of Elimelech and mother-in-law of Ruth (Ru 1:2 through 4:17). She went with her husband to the land of Moab, and after his death returned to Bethlehem. When greeted on her return, she told the women of the town to call her, not no`omi ("pleasantness"), but marah ("bitterness"), "for," she said, "the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me." She advised Ruth in her dealings with Boaz, and afterward nursed their child.ith Anaitis (=Anahita), the Asian Artemis. She was the Venus, but sometimes the Diana, of the Romans. There are many variants of the name: Anaea (Strabo xvi.738), Aneitis (Plut. Artax. xxvii), Tanais (Clement of Alexandria, loc. cit.), also Tanath, sometimes in Phoenician inscriptions, Tanata, Anta (Egyptian). In 2 Macc 1:13 ff, a fictitious account is given of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, in a temple of Nanaea in Persia, by the treachery of Nanaea's priests. The public treasury was often placed in Nanaea's temple; this, Epiphanes was anxious to secure under the pretext of marrying the goddess and receiving the money as dowry. The priests threw down great stones "like thunderbolts" from above, killed the king and his state and then cut off their heads. But 1 Macc 1 ff, which is more reliable, gives a different account of the death of Epiphanes after an attempt to rob a rich temple in Elymais. The account of 2 Macc 1:13 ff must be mere legend, as far as Epiphanes is concerned, but may have been suggested or colored by the story of the death of Antiochus the Great, who met his death while plundering a temple of Belus near Elymais (Strabo xvi.l.18; Diod. Sic. 573; Justin, xxxii.2). The temple of Nanaea referred to in 2 Macc 1:13 ff may be identified with that of Artemis (Polyb. xxxi.11; Josephus, Ant, XII, ix, 1) or Aphrodite (Appian, Syriac. 66; Rawlinson, Speaker's Comm.).

See a list of verses on NAOMI in the Bible.

The name may mean "my joy," "my bliss," but is perhaps better explained according to the traditional interpretation as "the pleasant one."

David Francis Roberts

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

 
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