🔼The name Rumah: Summary
- High Place
- From the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Rumah in the Bible
The name Rumah occurs once or twice in the Bible. Rumah is the city where Pedaiah came from, who was the father of Zebidah, who was the mother of king Jehoiakim of Judah (2 Kings 23:36). We have no idea where Rumah may have been situated, but some scholars propose that it may be the same town as Arumah (ארומה), near Shechem (Judges 9:41).
The second time the name Rumah occurs in the Bible is in Joshua 15:52, that is to say: in most manuscripts. In some others the text says Dumah (דומה), which is how most translations read it. Only the JSP reads Rumah.
🔼Etymology of the name Rumah
The name Rumah comes from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high:
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 Rumah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads High Place. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes High. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret this name but does list it under the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high.