🔼The name Gallim: Summary
- From the verb גלל (galal), to roll.
🔼The name Gallim in the Bible
The name Gallim occurs twice in the Bible. It's the name of a village probably in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. We hear about Gallim first in the sad story of Michal, Saul's daughter, who was promised to David but given to Palti, son of Laish who was from Gallim (1 Samuel 25:44). One of the first acts of David after he rose to power was to get Michal back . Palti cried bitterly but in the end had little choice but to let her go (2 Samuel 3:13-16).
🔼Etymology of the name Gallim
The name Gallim appears to be a plural form of a noun גל taken from either of the roots גלל (galal):
The verb גלל (galal) primarily expresses rolling, whirling or heaping and may also denote a broad sweep (of land or time). Noun גל (gal) means heap or pile; גיל (gel), a heap specifically of dung; גלל (galal), dung; גלול (gillul), idols. Noun גלה (gulla) means bowl, basin or spring; noun גלילה (gelila), circuit, boundary or territory. Noun גליל (galil) denotes a supporting cylinder or rod; adjective גליל (galil), probably describes a cylindrical hinge column, noun מגלה (megilla) means scroll. Noun גלגל (gilgal) means wheel; noun גלגל (galgal), wheel or whirlwind. Noun גלגלת (gulgoleth) means skull or head. In cognate languages verb גלל (galal) extends to also describe the nobility of someone who rules a region.
The parallel verb גיל (gil) expresses a circular motion as is mostly associated with expressions of joy and celebration (dance). Nouns גיל (gil) and גילה (gila) mean a rejoicing. Noun גיל (gil) describes a circle or time: an age.
For a meaning of the name Gallim, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary read Heaps. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) derives our name from גל as well, but takes a huge interpretive leap and proposes Fountains but that strikes as a bit too liberal. It's unlikely that a Hebrew audience would have understood Gallim to mean fountains.