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Origin of the name MIRIAM.
Etymology of the name MIRIAM.
Meaning of the baby name MIRIAM.


MIRIAM.  Biblical.  English.  [Heb. Miryam = "their obstinacy," "their rebellion" (Gesenius)].  Yonge renders it "bitter."  See excerpts below.  Usage: America, England, Israel (מִרְיָם).

     (1) The sister of Aaron and of Moses (Numb. xxvi. 59; 1 Chron. vi. 3).  She seems to have been only a young girl when she watched over the ark which contained the infant Moses (Exod. ii. 4-8).  After the passage of the Red Sea, she took a timbrel and led the Israelite women "with timbrels and with dances," saying "Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea" (xv. 20, 21).  She joined with Aaron in murmuring against Moses for having married a Cushite woman.  For this she was made a leper white as snow, but owing to the intercession of Moses was speedily healed (Numb. xii. 1-16; Deut. xxiv. 9).  She died, and was buried in Kadesh (Numb. xx. 1).  The prophet Micah makes her a leader with Moses and Aaron of the Jewish people (Micah vi. 4).
     (2) A woman (?) or a man (?) of Judah belonging to the race of Caleb (1 Chron. iv. 17).
     It is from the Hebrew word Miriam that the New Testament name Mary was formed. (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894)

    The sister of Moses and Aaron, who led the songs of the Israelites when they saw their enemies dead upon the sea-shore, was the first owner of that name which was to be the most highly honored among those of women.
    Yet it is a name respecting which there is great contention.  Gesenius derives it from Merî (stubbornness), with the addition of the third person plural, so as to make it mean their rebellion.  Other commentators refer it to the word Marah (bitterness), and thence the bitter gum, myrrh, the same term that was applied to the brackish springs in the desert, and to which the desolate widow of Bethlehem declared her right, when she cried, "Call me not Naomi (pleasant), call me Marah (bitter)."  This is on the whole the most satisfactory derivation, but in the middle ages it was explained as Myrrh of the Sea, Lady of the Sea, or Star of the Sea, the likeness to the Latin, Keltic, and Teutonic mar being probably the guide.  Star of the Sea is the favourite explanation among Roman Catholics, as the loftiest and most poetical, and it is referred to in many of their hymns and other devotional compositions.
    Miriam does not seem to have been repeated until after the captivity, when it took the Greek forms of Mariam and Mariamne, and became very frequent among Jewish women, probably in the expectation of the new deliverance from the bondage that galled them like that of Egypt of old... (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884)


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