🔼The name Gath-rimmon: Summary
- Pomegranate Press, Winepress Of Elevation
- From (1) the noun גת (gat), press, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Gath-rimmon in the Bible
There are one or two towns named Gath-rimmon in the Bible:
- A town situated in the territory of Dan (Joshua 19:45), which was handed over to the Kohathites (Joshua 21:24, 1 Chronicles 6:69).
- A town situated in Manasseh, which also went to the Kohathites (Joshua 21:25). In the parallel text of 1 Chronicles 6:70 the name Gath-rimmon does not occur and we read about Bileam instead, which is probably the same as Ibleam mentioned in Joshua 17:11. BDB Theological Dictionary deems all this confusion due to a scribal error.
🔼Etymology of the name Gath-rimmon
The name Gath-rimmon consists of two parts. The first part is the same as the name Gath and the noun גת (gat) meaning press:
The verb יגן (yagan) probably meant to beat or press, since the derived noun גת (gat) describes a wine-press.
The second part of our name is the same as the name Rimmon and means pomegranate:
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, 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.
For a meaning of the name Gath-rimmon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Pomegranate Press and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the rather unfortunate Wine-Press Of The Pomegranate. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation of our name.