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Meaning and etymology of the names
Hachmoni, Hachmonite and Tahchemonite




Hachmoni Hachmoni, Hachmonite Hachmonite, Tahchemonite Tahchemonite


There's a bit of a mystery surrounding the three names Hachmoni, Hachmonite and Tahchemonite. They occur only once in the Bible; all three together and in texts that seem to contradict each other (although usually when Biblical texts seem at odds with each other, there's treasure to be unearthed).

The name Tahchemonite occurs in 2 Samuel 23:8, where we learn the names of the "mighty men" of king David. The first mighty-man mentioned there is Josheb-basshebeth, a Tachemonite, who had slain eight hundred at one time. This man was also called Adino the Eznite (means something like He Who Delights In The Spear) for just that reason.

But in the parallel text of 1 Chronicles 11:11, the first mentioned mighty-man is Jashobeam (means something like Let The People Return), the son of a Hachmonite (identified as Zabdiel in 1 Chronicles 27:2), who once killed three hundred at one time. It's been suggested that perhaps the two are the same person.

But in 2 Chronicles 23:32 we learn of a man called Jehiel, who is a son of Hachmoni. He tutors the sons of David together with David's uncle Jonathan. Curiously, the personal name Hachmoni and the gentilicium Hachmonite are spelled identical. BDB Theological Dictionary, even, only treats Tahchemonite as gentilicium and reckons Jashobeam not a Hachmonite but a son of Hachmoni, just like Jehiel.

We'll probably never get to the bottom of this.

What we do know is that the three names Hachmoni, Hachmonite and Tahchemonite come from the root verb hakam (hakam), meaning to be wise. BDB Theological Dictionary reports that this verb has linguistic equivalents in related languages, and may have originally been similar in meaning to an Arabic verb meaning to make firm, sound, free from defect.

The feminine derivative of this verb is the noun hakam (hokma), meaning wisdom. A derived adjective is hakam (hakam), meaning wise.

The name Hachmoni is the word hakam seasoned for sound with the vowel waw and postfixed with the letter nun, which is the common Hebrew construct that leads to a personification of the verb; wise + nun= wise-guy. The postfixed yod usually indicates either possession (wise + yod = my wisdom) or a gentilicium (Jerusalem + yod = Jerusalemite).
The name Tahchemonite is pretty much the name Hachmoni prefixed with the letter taw, which works as an amplification or globalization (taw + wise = totally wise).

NOBS Study Bible Name List only translates Tahchemonite, and does so with Wise. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names transliterates Tachmonite (without the first h) and translates Wisdom. Jones doesn't treat Hachmonite but reads Very Wise for Hachmoni.

A related name is Hochma.






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