🔼The name Hadadrimmon: Summary
- Bursting Of The Pomegranate, Thunderous Ripeness
- From the verb (1) הדד (hdd), to thunder, and (2) the noun רמון (rimmon), pomegranate, from the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Hadadrimmon in the Bible
The name Hadadrimmon occurs only once in the Bible. The prophet Zechariah foretells the outpour of the Holy Spirit upon Jerusalem, which will cause everybody to realize "whom they have pierced," and as a consequence of that, there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, "like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo" (Zechariah 12:11).
It's not immediately clear what Zechariah meant with the mourning of Hadadrimmon. Most scholars point at the defeat and death of King Josiah of Judah at the battle of Megiddo in 609 BC, upon which "all of Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah" (2 Chronicles 35:24).
The problems with this explanation are:
- Hadadrimmon isn't mentioned in either account of the battle of Megiddo (see also 2 Kings 23:29-30).
- Though generally righteous, Josiah ignored the words of YHWH spoken to him through Pharaoh Neco and came to Megiddo anyway, in disguise no less, to pick a fight with the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 35:22).
- Zechariah seems to say that either Hadadrimmon did the mourning, or else he was the one mourned. That would equate Hadadrimmon either with Jerusalem or with "the One whom they have pierced" about whom the future mourning would be all about.
- Though awful, the battle of Megiddo and the death of king Josiah had occurred about a hundred years before Zechariah wrote his prophecy, and in the meantime Judah had been completely destroyed, the whole monarchy and the temple of YHWH had been wrecked, and the people had been taken to Babylon. One would expect a greater proverbial mourning to have arisen from that.
🔼Etymology of the name Hadadrimmon
The name Hadadrimmon consists of two elements and each element is the name of a known pagan deity (probably even the same one). The first part of our name is the same as Hadad, which comes from the root הדד (hadad), meaning thundering or noise making:
The unused verb הדד (hadad) probably meant to thunder or make a loud noise (it does so in cognate languages). Nouns הידד (hedad) and הד (hed) describe a shout or shouted cheer.
The second part of our name is the same as Rimmon, the chief deity of Aram, whose name is the same as the noun רמון (rimmon), meaning 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 such as רמה (rama), 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 Hadadrimmon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads a rather lame Hadad And Rimmon. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Bursting Of The Pomegranate. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't discuss this name beyond the obvious connection to the names Hadad and Rimmon.
Our guess here at Abarim Publications is that Hadadrimmon is not the name of a town but rather Zechariah's way of speaking of Judgment Day. Also see the name Armageddon.