& Meaning •
Meaning and etymology of the name Kemuel
The name Kemuel is assigned three times in the Bible. The first Kemuel mentioned is a son of Nahor with Milcah (Genesis 22:21). Others are an Ephraimite leader (Numbers 34:24) and a Levite leader in the days of David (1 Chronicles 27:17).
The name Kemuel is a compilation of two elements: The second part of the name Kemuel is , the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God.
The first part is a bit of a mystery. Both NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names follow the venerable theologian W. Gesenius, who derived this name from an unused Hebrew root that may or may not have been similar in meaning to an Arabian verb meaning to gather together, or to collect. Both NOBS and Jones translate the name Kemuel with Congregation Of God.
That may or may not be the original meaning of the original name, but to any Hebrew audience, it would have sounded like a compilation of the word and an expression of the verb (qum) meaning to rise up or stand. This verb is used in all the expected ways, from getting up from a prostrate position (Exodus 21:19, Joshua 3:16), a kneeling position (1 Kings 8:54) or sitting position (Genesis 25:34). It may indicate the start of a journey (Deuteronomy 17:8), a paying attention (Numbers 23:18), a giving testimony (Deuteronomy 19:15).
This verb is used when items are set up (idols - Leviticus 26:1), or when one assumes an office or position: that of leader (Genesis 37:7), prophet (Deuteronomy 34:10), judge (Judges 10:1). Thus this verb also used when a covenant is established (Exodus 6:4) or maintained (Isaiah 28:16). This verb is also frequently used in a military sense of rising up against someone or some army (Judges 7:15, Exodus 2:17). In conjunction with God, this verb often occurs in a plea for God to rise up against enemies (Psalm 3:7).
As shown in Mark 5:41, this verb also exists in Aramaic. Jesus uses it when He raises Jairus' daughter from the dead by saying, "talitha kum".
Some derivatives of this verb are:
(qoma), meaning height.
(qama), meaning standing grain.
(qim), meaning adversary; someone who stands up against someone.
(qima), meaning a rising up.
(qommiyut), meaning uprightness.
(yequm), meaning substance or existence (Genesis 7:4).
denoting an ability to stand.
(maqom), denoting some set location, place to stand or station (Exodus 21:13, Joshua 8:19).
Perhaps the name Kemuel means Congregation Of God. Perhaps it brought to mind the word (qama), meaning standing grain, and the idea of a human harvest, such as reflected in Matthew 9:37, and means God's Grain. But perhaps it reminded a Hebrew audience of the verb in general and was interpretated as God's Rising, denoting God's defense of people, or a campaign against evil.
Other names derived of the verb qum are
Koa, and perhaps Achim.
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