🔼The name En-rimmon: Summary
- Fountain Of Pomegranates, Eye Of Ripeness
- From (1) עין ('ayin), fountain or eye, and (2) the noun רמון (rimmon), pomegranate, from the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name En-rimmon in the Bible
The name En-rimmon occurs only once in the Bible. Nehemiah mentions it as one of the towns outside Jerusalem that were repeopled after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 11:29). Because this town isn't mentioned anywhere else in the Bible, it's often supposed to be the same as Rimmon of the Simeonites in Judah, mentioned in close succession of the name Ain in Joshua 15:32 and 19:7.
🔼Etymology of the name En-rimmon
The name En-rimmon consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the name Ain, which in turn is the same as the noun עין ('ayin), meaning both eye and fountain:
The noun עין ('ayin) means both eye and fountain, well or spring. This might be explained by noting that the eye produces water in the form of tears, but perhaps more so in that water and light were considered deeply akin (see our article on the verb נהר, nahar, both meaning to shine and to flow). In that sense, the eye was considered a fountain that watered the outward face with water and the internal mind with light. Verb עין ('in) means to eye or regard. Noun מעין (ma'yan) describes a place with a spring.
The second part of our name is the same as the name Rimmon, which is the same as the common Hebrew noun רמון (rimmon), meaning pomegranate:
The verb רום (rum) means to be high or high up in either a physical, social or even attitudinal sense, and may also refer to the apex in a natural process: the being ripe and ready-for-harvest of fruits. Subsequently, our verb may imply a state beyond ripe (higher than ripe, overripe), which thus refers to rotting and being maggot riddled. This means that to the ancients higher did not simply mean better, and an arrogant political status that was higher than it should be equaled rot and worms (Acts 12:23).
Derived nouns, such as רום (rum) and related forms, describe height or pride. Noun רמות (ramut) describes some high thing. The noun ארמון ('armon) refers to a society's apex: a citadel or palace. The noun ראם (re'em) describes the wild ox, which was named possibly for the same reason why we moderns call a rising market a "bull" market. The similar verb ראם (ra'am) means to rise.
The important noun רמון (rimmon) means pomegranate and the pomegranate became the symbol for harvest-ready fruit (see our full dictionary article for more on this). Overripe items might suffer the noun רמה (rimma), worm or maggot, or the verb רמם (ramam), to be wormy.
For a meaning of the name En-rimmon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Fount Of Pomegranates and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Fountain Of The Pomegranate. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name. Since the noun עין ('ayin) may mean eye as well as fountain and the pomegranate symbolizes the state of being ripe for harvest, our name also means Eye Of Ripeness, or paraphrased: Prosperous Vision.