🔼The name Bahurim: Summary
- The Preferred Ones, Young Men
- From the verb בחר (bahar), to select by preference.
🔼The name Bahurim in the Bible
The Benjaminite village Bahurim is mentioned five times in the Bible. We first hear from it in the harrowing story of Paltiel, the son of Laish, who lost his wife Michal to king David's perverted sense of righteousness. Michal was promised to David (as he earned her by turning over a hundred Philistines foreskins to Michal's father king Saul) but was long since given to Paltiel. The latter loved his wife, it appears, because he wept loudly, following her and her abductors up to the village of Bahurim (2 Samuel 3:16, spelled בחרים).
If Michal ever loved David, she soon lost her respect for him. And so did a man named Shimei, son of Gera, who was of the same family as Saul, and who came out from Bahurim to meet king David and cursed him like there was no tomorrow (2 Samuel 16:5). Later, when David's honor was restored, Shimei came to David and apologized for his earlier behavior (2 Samuel 19:16). Later still, David ordered his son Solomon to execute Shimei for what he had done so many years before (1 Kings 2:8, spelled בחרים).
During David's son Absalom's rebellion allegiances shifted quickly. Before Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, and Jonathan, son of Abiathar could deliver a message from Hushai the counselor to David they were forced to hide in a well in someone's courtyard in Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:18).
Another famous man from Bahurim (or so it is assumed) is one of king David's mighty-men Azmaveth. He is alternately called a Baharumite (1 Chronicles 11:33) and a Barhumite (2 Samuel 23:31), and scholars assume that both words refer to someone from Bahurim. Here at Abarim Publications we don't agree with that. Read our article on the epithet Barhumite for the details.
🔼Etymology of the name Bahurim
The name Bahurim comes from the verb בחר (bahar), meaning to choose in the sense of to prefer:
The verb בחר (bahar) means to choose in the sense of to select by preference. That means that any "chosen" people are not the patsies of a sadistic deity but simply the best performing players in the public court of the open market. Obviously, such a high score in a truly open and free market requires great practical wisdom and recognizable virtue.
Nouns בחור (bahur) and בחיר (bahir) mean choice young man or chosen one (because of supreme qualities). Plural noun בחורים (behurim) means youth (choice-hood; one's best years). Nouns מבחר (mibhar) and מבחר (mibhor) mean best or choicest.
For a meaning of the name Bahurim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Young Men. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names goes with the more elaborate Village Of Young Men. And BDB Theological Dictionary interprets our name as Young Men's Village.