🔼The name Talmon in the Bible
It's not clear how many men named Talmon are mentioned in the Bible, and if there are more than one, where one ends and the other begins. Here are the candidates:
- One of the gatekeepers who were among the Levites who returned from the Babylonian exile (1 Chronicles 9:17).
- Pretty much the same list of names that occurred in 1 Chronicles 9:17 appears in Ezra 2:42 and Nehemiah 7:45, except that now not they but their sons are said to have returned. There are six names given by Ezra and Nehemiah and four in Chronicles, whereas Ezra counts the total of sons to have returned as 139 and Nehemiah counts 138. That means that these family heads had an average of 23 to 34 descendants (not counting the ones who might have opted to stay in Babylon), and that makes it unlikely, but not impossible, that they were alive and joined the return.
- Another one of the four to six names that occur in all three clusters of names is Akkub, and Nehemiah makes mention of Akkub, Talmon and 170 brethren who were all watch-keeping gatekeepers, quite alive we may presume (Nehemiah 11:19). During the incumbency of high priest Joiakim, Akkub and Talmon are again mentioned among the gatekeepers, but now along some new names (Nehemiah 11:25).
Our name is spelled with a final waw-nun (טלמון) in Ezra 2:42 and Nehemiah 11:19 and 12:25, but without the waw elsewhere (טלמן).
Also note that there is clearly something to our name other than confusing records. The names of the four gatekeepers mentioned in 1 Chronicles 9:17 are eerily similar to the four giant Hebronites mentioned in Numbers 13:22:
🔼Etymology of the name Talmon
The name Talmon appears to be Aramaic, and derives from the verb טלם (telam), meaning to oppress or injure (and the familiar final ון-couple personifies the root):
For a meaning of the name Talmon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Oppressor, Violent and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has Injurious Oppression. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of this name beyond its discussion of the Aramaic verb.