🔼The name Chilmad: Summary
- Unknown, but perhaps Of All Sorts, In Every Measure, All Disease
- From (1) the noun כל (kol), all, and (2) the noun מד (mad), measure, or מדוה (madweh), disease.
🔼The name Chilmad in the Bible
The name Chilmad occurs only once in the Bible, namely in Ezekiel 27:23, where it is listed among the many nations that traded with Tyre. Unlike most of the other names of this list, it's not clear where Chilmad might have been located. Some scholars have suggested that the letters "m" and "w" may have alternated in Assyrian and Babylonian languages, and proposed that Chilmad is the same as Kalwadha, a city near Bagdad on the east side of the Tigris. Others have proposed that Chilmad isn't really a name but simply means "all Media" (see below), or that it refers to Carmania, a region in present day Iran (roughly corresponding to Kerman province).
🔼Etymology of the name Chilmad
Since it's not clear where Chilmad might have been it's also not clear from which language this name comes, let alone what it might have meant. It's not even certain that Chilmad is really a name, or was ever intended as one. Ancient Hebrew scribes often transliterated foreign names into barely recognizable forms, often to make a point or pun.
Here at Abarim Publications we surmise that our "name" כלמד may have originated as a compressed version of כל־מד, "all measure" or "all sorts", in the vein of the similar phrase כל־הון, "all wealth", (Ezekiel 27:12 and 27:18), and the phrases כל־בשם, "all spices", and כל־אבן, "all stones" (both 27:22).
The first part of our "name" looks like the noun כל (kol), meaning all or the whole:
The root כלל (kll) deals with limits, and particularly the limit on growth or progression. This limit may be incurred by interment or incarceration, but it may also mark the asymptotic quality of perfection or completion.
Verb כלא (kala') means to shut in or shut up. Nouns כלא (kele'), כלוא (klw') and כליא (keli) mean imprisonment. Noun מכלה (mikla), means enclosure or fold. Verb כול (kul) means to contain or cause to contain.
Verb כלה (kala) denotes the bringing to a completion of some process, and that usually but not always in a negative sense. Noun כלה (kala) mostly describes complete destruction or complete annihilation. Adjective כלה (kaleh) describes a failing with desire and noun כליון (killayon) means either a failing or pining of the eyes or annihilation. Noun מכלה (mikla) means completeness (and is identical to the word meaning enclosure or fold). The noun תכלה (tikla) means perfection. Noun תכלית (taklit) means end or completeness. The very common noun כלי (keli) describes any kind of article that (possibly) took a while to make but is now finished, or a vessel that was designed to hold some finished product; a holding pot.
Verb כלל (kalal) means to complete or make perfect. The very common noun כל (kol) means all or the whole. Adjective כליל (kalil) means entire or whole. Nouns מכלול (miklol) and מכלל (miklal) mean perfection. Noun מכלל (maklul) describes something made perfect.
The noun כלה (kalla) means bride or daughter-in-law, and noun כלולה (kelula) means espousal, which obviously reflects the Bible's expectation that humanity's ultimate perfection makes her a Bride to the Creator.
And the second part of our name looks like it has to do with the name for Media, namely מדי from the verb מדד (madad), to measure:
The verb מדד (madad) means to measure. Nouns מד (mad) and מדה (midda) mean measure or portion and may be used to refer to a (tailor-made) garment. The more specific nouns מדו (maddu) and מדוה (madweh) both mean (tailor-made) garment. Noun ממד (memad) means measurement and noun מדון (madon) means stature (how society sizes one up).
The second part of our name may even be designed to remind of the word מדוה (madweh), disease, as in the term כל־מדוה, all disease (Deuteronomy 7:15, 28:60):
The verb דוה (dawa) means to be ill. Noun דוי (deway) means illness. Adjectives דוה (daweh) and דוי (dawway) mean faint. Noun מדוה (madweh) means disease.
This core meaning of this verb probably has to do with a flowing of fluids, and the observation that "someone was ill" literally conveyed that "someone had the flows." The noun דיו (deyo) means ink, which at first glance appears to be due to the fluidic nature of ink. But ink was hardly the only fluid, and this word appears to rather stem from the notion that a solitary human is woefully weak and man's strength lies in his network, which in turn is strengthened both by correspondence and by the preservation of man's collective wisdom in his library.
This curiously connects writing to menstruating (literally "the flow"), which in turn relates the need for written revelation to mankind's failure to conceive; two issues which will both be remedied when the Word is fully revealed within mankind.
It's unclear what the name Chilmad means, but among a Hebrew audience there might have been a creative few who heard Of All Sorts or In Every Measure or even All Disease.