🔼The name Adrammelech: Summary
- Magnificence Of The King, Adar Is King
- From (1) the verb אדר (adar), to be majestic, and (2) the noun מלך (melek), king.
🔼The name Adrammelech in the Bible
There are two characters in the Bible who carry the name Adrammelech, although one is probably named after the other. The only human Adrammelech is one of two parricidal sons of Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 19:37); the other being Sharezer. Adrammelech is also the name of an idol which was worshipped by the Sepharvites, and to which they sacrificed their children (2 Kings 17:31).
🔼Etymology of the name Adrammelech
The name Adrammelech consists of two parts. The first part may have to do with an Assyrian or Babylonian god named Adar, but as spelled, it must have reminded the Hebrews only of the verb אדר (adar), meaning to be majestic:
The verb אדר ('adar) means to be superior or majestic (or literally: wide). Noun אדר ('eder) means glory or magnificence, or may refer to a wide cloak. Adjective אדיר ('addir) means majestic. Noun אדרת ('aderet) means glory.
The second part of the name Adrammelech comes from the Hebrew noun מלך (melek), meaning king:
The noun מלך (melek) means king, and a king is not merely a glorified tribal chief but the alpha of a complex, stratified society, implying a court and a complex government.
The Bible insists that a society must be governed by a triad of anointed sovereigns, namely prophets, priests and the king. A good king causes his people to be prosperous and peaceful whereas a bad one causes poverty and strife. The difference between the two is dictated by how close to the Law of Nature (a.k.a. the Word of God) the king operates. A kingdom that is wholly in tune with the Law consists of only sovereign individuals and is thus without a physical king.
An Aramaic cognate verb מלך (malak) means to consult, which confirms that the concept of royalty indeed evolved from wisdom and intellectual prowess rather than brute physical or political strength, as is commonly suggested.
From this noun derives the verb מלך (malak): to be or become king, the nouns מלכה (malka) and מלכת (meleket): queen or court-lady, the noun מלוכה (meluka): kingship or royalty, and the nouns מלכות (malkut), ממלכה (mamlaka) and ממלכות (mamlakut), meaning sovereignty or kinghood.
For a meaning of the name Adrammelech, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Magnificence Of The King, but adds that perhaps in Persian this name means The King Of Fire, which is then supposed to mean the sun. NOBSE Study Bible Name List doesn't translate the first part of the name Adrammelech and reads Adar Is King. BDB Theological Dictionary does the same and proposes Adar Is Prince, and refers to a known Babylonian god named Adar.