🔼The name Hadoram: Summary
- Thunder Is Exalted
- A Noble Generation
- Exalted Glory
- From (1) the verb הדד (hdd), to thunder, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
- From (1) the noun דור (dor), generation, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
- From (1) the verb הדר (hadar), glory, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Hadoram in the Bible
There are three people called Hadoram in the Bible:
- A son of Joktan, who is a brother of Peleg and a son of Eber (Genesis 10:27).
- The son of king Tou of Hamath. King Tou sends Hadoram and all kinds of wonderful gifts to king David to salute his victory over Hadadezer, king of Zobah (1 Chronicles 18:10). In 2 Samuel 8:10 this prince is called Joram.
- The third Hadoram (whose name is spelled slightly different: הדרם) is king Rehoboam's unfortunate chief of forced labor (the Israelites stone him to death — 2 Chronicles 10:18).
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Hadoram
The meaning of the name Hadoram is somewhat disputed, although it is clear that the name consists of two segments. NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names both suggest that the second part has to do with רום (rum) meaning to be high or lofty:
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.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List suggests that the first part is a name itself, namely Hadar, but does not treat that name. Their conclusion: Hadar Is Exalted. Other scholars believe that the name Hadoram comes from Hadad and is in fact a contraction of Hadadram, which would mean Hadad Is Exalted (the name Hadadram doesn't occur in the Bible but a similar duality exists in the names Hadadezer and Hadarezer). But that would make our name related to the verb הדד, meaning to thunder or make noise:
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.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees more in דור (dor) meaning generation, from the verb דור (dur):
The verb דור (dur) means to heap or pile, also in the sense of concentrating one's activities, and thus: to dwell. Noun דור (dur) means circle, ball or heap. Noun דור (dor) or דר (dor) means period, age, generation or habitation. Noun מדורה (medura) means pile.
Jones' conclusion: A Noble Generation.
All very well, think the scholars behind BDB Theological Dictionary, and list הדרם (Rehoboam's officer) under the verb הדר (hadar), meaning to show respect:
The verb הדר (hadar) means to honor, adorn or glorify. Noun הדר (heder) means splendor or glory. Noun הדר (hadar) means ornament, splendor or honor. Noun הדרה (hadara) means adornment or glory.
Two out of three Biblical Hadorams are related to a king, so it's a good bet that the name Hadoram is based on the verb hadar, and means either Exalted Glory, or (seen as a plural) Honors/ Splendors/ Ornaments.