Zem'arite (Heb. with the art. hats-Tsemari', הִצּמָרַי, evidently a patronymic or rather patrial from Zemer [see below]; Sept. ὁ Σαμαραῖος; Vulg. Samarceus), the general designation of one of the Hamitic tribes who in the genealogical table of Genesis 10 (ver. 18) and 1 Chronicles 1 (ver. 16) are represented as "' sons of Canaan." They are named between the Arvadite, or people of Ruad, and the Hamathite, or people of Hamah. The old interpreters (Jerusalem Targum, Arabic version, etc.) place them at
Emessa, the modern Hums. Michaelis (Spicileg. 2, 51), revolting at the want of similarity between the two names (which is perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the old identification), proposes to locate them at Sunra, the Simyra (Σιμύρα) or Simyrus (Σίμυρος) of the classical geographers (Assemani, Biblioth. Orient. 1, 504), located on the Phoenician river Eleutherus (Ptolemy, 5, 15, 4; Pliny, 5, 17; Mela, 1, 12, 3), which name is mentioned by Shaw (p. 234) as attached to a site of ruins near Arka, on the west coast of Syria, ten or eleven miles above Tripoli (comp. Buckingham, 2, 415). On the French map of the Lebanon (Carte du, Liban, etc., 1862) this place appears as Kobbet oum Shoumra, and lies between Arka and the Mediterranean, two kilometers from the latter and five and a half from the former. Beyond, however, the resemblance in the names, and the proximity of Ruad and Arka, the probable seats of the Arvadites and Arkites, and the consequent inference that the original seat of the Zemarites must have been somewhere in this direction, there is nothing to prove that Sumra or Shumra has any connection with the Tsemarites of the ancient records. The name is more likely to have sprung from the locality in the eastern declivity of Mount Ephraim or Benjamin, elsewhere designated as ZEMARAIM SEE ZEMARAIM (q.v.). The identification by the Sept and Vulg. of both these places with the city of Samaria is evidently a mere conjecture or false transliteration.