🔼The name Aram-maacah: Summary
- The High Town That Will Subdue You
- From (1) the verb רום (rum), to rise up, and (2) the verb מעך (ma'ak), to press of squeeze.
🔼The name Aram-maacah in the Bible
The name Aram-maacah is assigned to one city in the Bible. It's mentioned only once, in 1 Chronicles 19:6, but it's probably the same place as the city simply called Maacah (2 Samuel 10:6, 1 Chronicles 19:7).
🔼Etymology of the name Aram-maacah
The name Aram-maacah obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the name Aram, the Hebrew name for Syria, which derives of the verb רום (rum), meaning to rise up, or to be high:
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 such as רמה (rama), 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.
The second part of the name Aram-maacah comes from the verb מעך (ma'ak), meaning to press of squeeze:
The verb מעך (ma'ak) means to press or squeeze. It's used a mere three times in the Old Testament.
The name Aram-maacah literally means Aram Of Oppression, and probably denotes the sense of superiority that the name-givers felt over the neighboring towns. It paraphrases to The High Town That Will Subdue You.