🔼The name Abel-keramim: Summary
- Stream Of The Vineyards
- From (1) the noun אבל ('abel), stream or brook, and (2) the noun כרם (kerem), vineyard.
🔼The name Abel-keramim in the Bible
The name Abel-keramim belongs to a village in the territory of Ammon. It's mentioned only one time in the Bible, in Judges 11:33, where it serves as a marker to indicate until where the judge Jephthah slaughtered Ammonites. Prior to his campaign, the Ammonites had invaded Israel and Jephthah had promised the Lord that if he would give Jephthah victory over Ammon, he foolishly vowed to offer as a burnt offering whatever would come out of his house to meet him upon his return there. When he returned to his home in Mizpah, his daughter and only child ran out the door to greet him.
🔼Etymology of the name Abel-keramim
The verb בלל (balal) means to mix something with oil, usually flour products, usually as ritualistic food preparation. The emphasis of this verb lies on saturation and overflowing: to fill something with oil until it can absorb no more and begins to reject an excess of oil. Noun בליל (belil) describes a very rich mix for animals to eat. Noun שבלול (shabbelul) describes a snail, or an animal that looks saturated with oil. Nouns תבל (tebel) describes sexually incompatible partners, and noun תבלל (teballul) tells of insoluble material that obstructs a person's eye.
The verb יבל (yabal) speaks mostly of a flowing along some course, which of course requires the bottom of the course to be saturated and reject any further absorption. Noun יבל (yabal) means water course or conduit, noun יובל (yubal) means stream and noun אובל ('ubal) means stream or river. Adjective יבל (yabbal) means suppurating (discharging pus from a wound). Noun יבול (yebul) denotes produce from the soil and noun בול (bul) means produce or outgrowth. Noun יובל (yobel) or יבל (yobel) describes "a carrier" or "a producer" or "something that drives a flow" (e.g. a trumpet, or the principle of Jubilee). Noun תבל (tebel) refers to the whole world-economy.
Verb אבל ('abel) is like the previous ones in that it describes a drive of liquid or semi-liquid elements along some collective course. It's often used to describe a collective mourning, which either happened in a procession or else contagious enough to drag others along. Nouns אבל ('ebel) and אבל ('abel) both mean mourning, but the latter is also the word for actual water stream or brook. In cognate languages this verb is used to describe the driving of camels. There is even a sporadically used adverb אבל ('abal), which in older texts expresses solemn affirmation (verily, truly, yes indeed I'm totally going along with you there) but later texts appear to put somewhat of a breaking force on the momentum ("yes!... but").
The second part of the name Abel-keramim is identical to the plural form of the Hebrew noun כרם (kerem), meaning vineyard:
The noun כרם (kerem) means vineyard. It occurs in many Semitic languages but its ultimate origin is unclear. Vineyards are mentioned over ninety times in the Old Testament, and in poetical and metaphorical passages the vineyard is a dominant symbol that commonly denotes the whole of mankind's culture. The derived noun כרמל (karmel) means plantation. An obviously related word is יין (yayan), meaning wine.
For a meaning of the name Abel-keramim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List proposes Meadow Of Vineyards, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Plain Of The Vineyards and BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Vineyard-Meadow. And according to the interpretation of HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the name Abel-keramim means Stream Of The Vineyards.