🔼The name Adummim: Summary
- Red Spots, Red Ones
- From the verb אדם ('dm), to produce or be red.
🔼The name Adummim in the Bible
Since in the time of Jerome (who wrote the Vulgate) this place was known as the "red" or "blood way" and was a known hotspot for robbers and cut throats, tradition has it that this was the ascent between Jerusalem and Jericho where Jesus' fictional story of the good Samaritan played (Luke 10:30).
🔼Etymology of the name Adummim
The name Adummim could be the plural of the word אדם ('adam), meaning man(kind), as in the name Adam. But that noun never occurs in plural, simply because there's only one man(kind). But our word is also the plural of a noun derived from the verb or adjective אדם (adom), meaning red or be red. In fact, besides as our name Adummim, the word אדמים occurs only three times in the Bible. In 2 Kings 3:22 the Moabites see the waters red (אדמים) as blood (דם). In Zechariah 1:8, the prophet sees the red (אדם) rider with red (אדמים) horses behind him, and in Zechariah 6:2 he sees a chariot pulled by red (אדמים) horses.
The form אדם ('dm) is part of a substantial cluster of roots that tend to have to do with either production or stillness:
The root דמם (ddm) is all about beginnings — or rather the simplicity from whence complexity arises — from being still before the noise starts to being monochromatic before color vision starts. Verb דמם (damam) means to be still, noun דממה (demama) denotes calmness and דמה (dumma) denotes a silenced person. Noun דומה (duma) describes the silence of death, noun דומיה or דמיה (dumiya) the silence of waiting and noun דומם (dumam) the silence of inertia or inactivity.
Verb דמה (dama I) describes making a (still) image. Nouns דמות (demut) and דמין (dimyon) mean likeness. Verb דמה (dama II) means to stop, halt or arrest. Noun דמי (domi) means a halting. Whatever the unused verb דמן (dmn) might have meant, noun דמן (domen) denotes refuse and מדמנה (madmena) a manure pit.
Unused verb אדם ('dm) may have meant to produce or begin to produce. Noun אדם (adam) is one of a few words for man but means literally probably "product" or likeness-made-from-soil; man as corporeal unit of humanity. This word is never used in plural, and its feminine equivalent, namely אדמה (adama), denotes arable soil or clay-red earth.
Red is the first color a baby learns to see and red or ruddy is indeed the color of rudiment: verb אדם (adom or adem) means to be red, adjective אדם ('adom) means red, noun אדם ('odem) denotes a ruddy gem, possibly quartz, noun אדם ('edom) denotes a kind of red stew, adjective אדמדם ('adamiddam) means reddish, and adjective אדמוני (admoni) means red or ruddy.
The ubiquitous noun דם (dam) means blood; the seat of life.
For a meaning of the name Adummim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Red Spots and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names (who treats the whole term מעלה אדמים) proposes The Going Up Of The Red Earths. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name.
The form אדמים occurs in the narrative with the meaning of Red Ones in 2 Kings 3:22, Zechariah 1:8 and 6:2.
Note the world play of the Chronicler when he alters Samuel's תורת האדם, the laws of man, to האדם המעלה, the ascent of man (1 Chronicles 17:17, 2 Samuel 7:19).