🔼The name Baal-hermon: Summary
- Lord Of Destruction
- From (1) the verb בעל (ba'al), to be lord, and (2) the verb חרם (haram), to send to the hereafter.
🔼The name Baal-hermon in the Bible
The name Baal-hermon occurs twice in the Bible. It belongs to either a town near mount Hermon or else is the name of a mountain close to mount Hermon. Prior and just after the conquest of Canaan, mount Baal-hermon was peopled by Hivites (whose job it was to test Israel, to see if the latter would stick to the commands of YHWH; Judges 3:3-4).
The Chronicler submits that at some point after the conquest, Baal-hermon (without the word for mountain in front of it) became settled by the half-tribe of Manasseh (1 Chronicles 5:23).
🔼Etymology of the name Baal-hermon
The name Baal-hermon consists of two parts. The first part is the familiar word בעל (ba'al), Baal, meaning lord or master:
The verb בעל (ba'al) means to exercise dominion over; to own, control or be lord over. The ubiquitous noun בעל (ba'al) means lord, master and even husband, and its feminine counterpart בעלה (ba'ala) means mistress or landlady.
God is obviously called 'lord' all over the Bible and the sin of the Baal priests (1 Kings 18:40) was not that they called upon some other deity but rather their incessant howling of the word 'lord' without any further responsibility or effects (see Matthew 7:21 and 11:4-5).
The second part of our name Baal-hermon is the same as the name Hermon, which comes from the complicated verb חרם (haram), meaning to assign someone or something to the afterlife:
The verb חרם (haram) describes to separate something from its natural economy and consign it to the afterlife. In practice this may either mean to grab hold of something and utterly obliterate it forever, or else set it aside for its forever keeping or some special sacred service (hence the word "harem").
The noun חרם (herem) may either refer to the act of designating something to the afterlife, or the item so designated. Perhaps a second but identical noun (or else this same noun) describes a fishing net. Such a net is of course an item with which fish are extracted from their natural economy and designated their afterlife.
The whole name Baal-hermon would mean something like Lord Of Designation or Master Of Destruction. For a meaning of our name, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Lord Of Hermon. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) appears to apply the hypothetical root חרם II (haram II) and translates our name with a rather curious and ultimately incorrect Place Of The Nose. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate our name but lists it both under בעל (ba'al) and חרם (haram).