shim'-e-ath-its shim`athim; Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus Samathieim; Lucian, Samathein): A subdivision of the tribe of Caleb (1Ch 2:55). In the three families mentioned in this passage Jerome saw three distinct classes of religious functionaries: Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) canentes atque resonantes et in tabernaculis commorantes. The Targum has a similar explanation, except that the "Sucathites" are those "covered" with a spirit of prophecy. Bertheau (Handbuch zum Altes Testament) accepts Jerome's explanation, except that he regards the first class as gate-keepers (Aramaic tera` = Hebrew sha`ar). Wellhausen (DGJ, 30 f) finds underlying the three names tir`ah, a technical term for sacred music-making, shim`ah, the Halacha or sacred tradition. Buhl (HWB13) derives Shimeathites and Sucathites from unknown places. Keil interprets as descendants from the unknown Shemei (compare Curtis,ICC ). The passage is hopelessly obscure.
⇒See a list of verses on SHIMEATHITES in the Bible.
Horace J. Wolf