The Name Naomi

How a poignant Bible story lives on.

| Topics: Hebrew Names
Photo: Shutterstock

The interpretation of the name Naomi is first of all “pleasant.” A pleasant woman. The name comes to us from the biblical book of Ruth. Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law. Being with Naomi was very pleasant for Ruth. So Ruth stayed with Naomi and accompanied her on the way back to Judea from Moab. When Naomi felt that her life was very bitter after her sons and husband died, she requested:

“Don’t call me ‘Naomi.’ Call me Mara [bitter]…”

In these words it is hinted that the name “Naomi” indicates the opposite of the word bitter. In the Bible, the accepted opposite of bitter is sweet.

“O you who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter…” (Isaiah 5:20)

From this it follows that one of the meanings of the noun Naomi/Noam was ‘sweetness,’ and the name Naomi could be translated as the modern expression “my sweetie.”

The name Naomi includes the word Noam, which describes pleasant, relaxed and kind behavior.

The word Na’ima meaning ‘singing or playing music’ is also related to the same root Na’am, because music is pleasant to the ear.

Parents who choose the name Naomi for their daughter want to give her values of gentleness, kindness, tenderness, sociability, success and a connection to Judeo-Biblical origins.

I personally have a neighbor I love greatly whose name is Naomi. She lives right next to me. And I admit that from the moment she moved in next to me, my life became more pleasant with the knowledge that she was my neighbor. From time to time we hang out together. We have a lot of conversations about “this and that,” as well as deeper things. We have even traveled together in Israel and abroad. I like Naomi’s company very much.

Naomi is also an international name. The most famous Naomi in Israel nowadays is the well-known poet and composer Naomi Shemer, who is responsible for the amazing song “Jerusalem of Gold.” A world-renowned model and actress is the Naomi Campbell.


Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!


/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member


/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months

every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter