🔼The name Almon-diblathaim: Summary
- Hidden Towards The Two Cakes
- From (1) the verb עלם ('alam), to be hidden, and (2) the noun דבלה (debela), fig cake.
🔼The name Almon-diblathaim in the Bible
The name Almon-diblathaim (or rather Almon-diblathaimah, with a commonly ignored letter ה, he at the end of it) occurs twice in the Bible, but only in passing and in one brief scene.
Almon-diblathaim is one of the stations at which Israel camped during the wilderness years. The Israelites went there after they left Dibon-gad and right before they reached the Abarim mountains (Numbers 33:46-47).
Since the Abarim range was situated in Moab country, Almon-diblathaim may be the same as Beth-diblathaim (without the final ה, he), which is mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah in his prophecy against Moab (Jeremiah 48:22).
🔼Etymology of the name Almon-diblathaim
The name Almon-diblathaim consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the name Almon, which comes from the root group עלם. The ון upon which this name ends is a common structure to localize or personify a root:
The verb עלם ('alam) means to be hidden or concealed and noun תעלמה (ta'alumma) describes a hidden thing, but all this with an emphasis on a potential coming out rather than a hiding for, say, safety or mysteriousness.
Noun עלם ('elem) describes a young man, עלמה ('alma) a young woman, and עלומים ('alumim) youth(s) in general, which appears to appeal to the still "hidden" potential of youth. Likewise the noun עולם (olam), which means forever or everlasting, appears to refer to the potential of any present situation, which may realize when time is unlimited.
The second part of our name is a plural form of an older spelling of the noun דבלה (debela), meaning fig cake, which derives from the unused verb דבל, denoting compacting figs into lumps or cakes:
The noun דבלה (debela) refers to a lump or cake of pressed figs and probably stems from an unused verb דבל (dabal) that meant to collect or stump together.
For a meaning of the name Almon-diblathaim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Almon Of The Double Cake Of Figs. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Almon Towards Diblathaim, and adds: "but literally: Hidden Towards The Two Cakes".
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer a translation of the name Almon-diblathaim but says of the diblathaim-part: "possibly from the root דבל in the sense of collect, assemble".