🔼The name Ahiram: Summary
- Brother Of Height, Brother Of The Lofty
- From (1) the noun אח ('ah), brother, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Ahiram in the Bible
The only Ahiram of the Bible is a son of Benjamin as mentioned in Numbers 26:38. The genealogy of Benjamin as recorded in Genesis 46:21 doesn't mention Ahiram and it has been proposed that Ahiram is the same as either Ehi or Aharah. Also note that according to some scholars, the name Hiram is an abbreviated form of our name Ahiram.
🔼Etymology of the name Ahiram
The name Ahiram consists of two elements. The first part of the name comes from the common Hebrew word אח ('ah), meaning brother:
The noun אח ('ah) means brother, or more broadly: a fellow member of a social economic node (a "house") within a broader economic whole.
This word's lavish inclusion in names strongly suggests that the deity was reckoned by this word — in modern times we mostly speak of Our Father in Heaven but in antiquity the deity appears to have also been addressed as Our Brother. The New Testament appears to entertain that dynamic in the tenet that the Word is God's Son, and all who have the Word are godly brothers. Also note the similarity with the verb חוה (hawa), to show, tell, make known.
The noun אחוה ('ahawa) means brotherhood and אחות ('ahot) means sister.
The second part of the name Ahiram comes from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high or lofty:
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 Ahiram, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Brother Of Height. BDB Theological Dictionary reads Brother Of (The) Lofty. NOBSE Study Bible Name List appears to omit this name.