🔼The name Carmi in the Bible
There are three men named Carmi in the Bible:
- A son of Reuben, the first born son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 46:9). This Carmi became the head of the sub-clan of the כרמי: the Carmites (Exodus 6:6, Numbers 26:6. Note that this ethnonym is spelled exactly the same as the original name Carmi).
- The father of Achan, the proverbial "troubler" of Israel who purloined certain banned items and seriously jeopardized Joshua's army during the battle of Ai (Joshua 7:1).
- A son of Judah (1 Chronicles 4:1). This Carmi is mentioned nowhere else, and some scholars believe that this concerns a text error.
🔼Etymology of the name Carmi
The name Carmi comes from the noun כרם (kerem), meaning vineyard:
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (vineyard-like or belonging to a vineyard), a possessive form (my vineyard), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Carmi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Vinedresser. Alfred Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names can't decide whether the final י (yod) is a possessive or an adjective-maker and reads Vine-dresser or My Vineyard. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret our name.