ע
ABARIM
Publications
Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

Milcom meaning

מלכם

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Milcom.html

🔼The name Milcom in the Bible

The name Milcom (which is pretty much the same as the name Malcam) occurs four times in the Bible, three times in conjunction with king Solomon, and once in Zephaniah's prophecy of judgment on idolaters (Zephaniah 1:5).

1 Kings 11:5 tells how in his latter days king Solomon follows his wives to serve other gods: Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians and Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. When the Lord subsequently instructs the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite to tell Jeroboam, son of Nebat, that Solomon will lose his empire and Jeroboam will be given sway over ten tribes of Israel, He also mentions Israel worshipping the god Chemosh of Moab (1 Kings 11:33). It's not until the reforms of king Josiah, three centuries after Solomon, that Solomon's high places of idolatry are demolished (2 Kings 23:13).

Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) states that Milcom is another name for Molech, also an Ammonite god. But note that in 2 Kings 23:10 Molech is mentioned separately from Milcom in verse 13, and while 1 Kings 11:5 mentions Milcom of Ammon, verse 7 speaks of Molech.

🔼Etymology of the name Milcom

The name Milcom comes from the noun מלך (melek), meaning king:

🔼Milcom meaning

Where this name's final letter ם (mem) comes from is disputed. One possibility is that the name Milcom comes from the Moabite language, and simply ended up like this due to linear transliteration. But to a Hebrew audience, this final mem may certainly have represented meaning. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) recognizes in the names Malcam and Milcom intensitive forms of our noun מלך (melek), and translates Malcam with Most High King, and, curiously, Milcom with just High King.

But this final mem could also be construed as the masculine plural pronominal suffix. That would give the names Malcam and Milcom the meaning of Their King. This latter interpretation is favored by NOBSE Study Bible Name List. BDB Theological Dictionary refrains from interpreting these names.