🔼The name Meremoth in the Bible
There are up to five men named Meremoth in the Bible. They appear to have been contemporaries of each other and the following list most probably overlaps somewhat:
- A son of Uriah the priest, who received the gold and silver that the returnees brought from Babylon (Ezra 8:33).
- One of the sons of Bani, who had married and would divorce his foreign wife during the Purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:36).
- Another or perhaps the same Meremoth son of Uriah, who worked on the repairs of the city (Nehemiah 3:4, 3:21). It's rare but not unheard of that strings of names were repeated across a few generations, so this may be another Meremoth and Uriah. Note that to this Meremoth no priesthood is ascribed.
- One of the priestly signers of the sealed document (Nehemiah 10:5). No genealogy is ascribed to this man, so he might have been any of the others.
- One of the priests who returned from exile together with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:3, only here spelled מרמת, Meremath, and it appears that this man is called Meraioth in Nehemiah 12:15.
🔼Etymology of the name Meremoth
It's not clear where the name Meremoth comes from, but most commentators appear to insist that it derives from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high, lofty or arrogant:
Here at Abarim Publications we guess that this name was commemorative of the exile (and not of a quality of the bearer of the name; this is not at all unusual in the Bible) and comes from the verb רמה (rama II), meaning to deceive, and particularly, the noun מרמה (mirma), meaning deceit or treachery. The plural of this noun is spelled מרמות, which is the same as our name, and occurs in Psalm 10:7, 35:20 and 38:12:
For a meaning of the name Meremoth, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Elevations and BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name.
Here at Abarim Publications, we would translate this name with Treacheries or Deceits.