🔼The name Hammoth-dor: Summary
- Cluster Of Hotnesses, Place Near The Heat
- From (1) the verb חמם (hamam), to be hot, and (2) the verb דור (dur), to dwell.
🔼The name Hammoth-dor in the Bible
The name Hammoth-dor occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a city that became located in the territory allotted to the tribe of Naphtali, but which was given to the Gershonites to dwell in (Joshua 21:32). Because the territory of Naphtali also contained a town named just Hammath, scholars assume that Hammath and Hammath-dor are the same town. There's no proof for that, though.
🔼Etymology of the name Hammoth-dor
The name Hammoth-dor obviously consists of two elements, and both elements occur as separate names in the Bible. The first part of our name is the same as the name Hammath, and derives from the verb חמם (hamam), meaning to be hot:
The verb חמם (hamam) means to be hot and is sometimes used to describe mental agitation. Nouns חם (hom) and חמה (hamma) mean heat. Adjective חם (ham) means hot. The noun חמן (hamman) denotes a kind of mysterious small pillar (perhaps a device?).
The verb יחם (yaham) also means to be hot, but mostly in a mental sense: to be exited or angered. The noun חמה (hema) mostly refers to a severe mental "burning": anger or rage.
The verb חמה (hmh) is not used in the Bible, but in cognate languages it means to surround, guard or protect. Perhaps this verb has nothing to do with the previous and only accidentally looks similar, but perhaps it ties into the fact that natural open fires aren't very warm and smelting metals require sophisticated ovens. Noun חם (ham) means father-in-law and its feminine equivalent, חמות (hamot), means mother-in-law — and note that the Trojan theme of the "girl" kept in the city of her forceful lover is very common in classical literature. Noun חומה (homa) describes a protective wall.
The noun חום (hum) describes a color or pattern of coloration of sheep and goats. It's not clear whether this pattern resembled sparks, fire or enclosures, or perhaps that this word in not related to the previous.
Noun חמת (hemet) means waterskin and may derive from a wholly different verb. Still, the verb נהר (nahar) means both to flow (of water) and to shine (of light) and a waterskin filled with water is not unlike a kiln containing a very warm fire.
The second part of our name is the same as the alternative spelling of the name Dor — the more common spelling is דור — which comes from the verb דור (dur), meaning to dwell or to heap or cluster:
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.
The name Hammoth-dor literally means Cluster Of Hotnesses, and could probably be explained to refer to a cluster of hot springs. For a meaning of the name Hammoth-dor, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Hot Springs Of Dor and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the similar Warm Baths Of Dor. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name.