🔼The name Harim: Summary
- Designated, Consigned
- From the verb חרם (haram), to designate or consign to the afterlife.
🔼The name Harim in the Bible
It's not clear precisely how many men named Harim there are in the Bible, but here they are. The following list probably overlaps somewhat:
- One of the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar, the two surviving sons of Aaron, who was assigned priestly duties in the days of king David (1 Chronicles 24:8).
- A family head "of the people," whose 320 family members returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:32, Nehemiah 7:35).
- A family head of a priestly family, whose 1,017 family members returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:39, Nehemiah 7:42).
- Possibly the same as the previous Harim: the priestly ancestor of five men who had married and would divorce their foreign wives (Ezra 10:21).
- Possibly the same as the second Harim of our list: the not-priestly ancestor of eight men who had also married and would divorce their foreign wives (Ezra 10:31).
- The father of a man named Malchijah, who helped with the repairs to Jerusalem after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 3:11). This Harim is possibly the same as the one mentioned in Ezra 10:31, who also had a son named Malchijah.
- A priestly signer of the Sealed Document (Nehemiah 10:5). This man is probably not the same as the one mentioned in the list of returnees, because if that Harim had 1,017 descendants he had surely long expired. It's possible, however, that the "sons of Harim" were a large family known by the name of their leader, which could be the very much alive priest Harim.
- A lay-signer of the Sealed Document, who could be the same as the one mentioned among the returnees, with the same considerations as go for the previous Harim.
- The ancestor of a priestly family of which a man named Adna was the leader during the days of Joiakim the high-priest (Nehemiah 12:15). He too could be the same as the one of the previous ones.
🔼Etymology of the name Harim
The name Harim comes from the complicated verb חרם (haram):
The verb חרם (haram) describes to separate something from its natural economy and consign it to the afterlife. In practice this may either mean to grab hold of something and utterly obliterate it forever, or else set it aside for its forever keeping or some special sacred service (hence the word "harem").
The noun חרם (herem) may either refer to the act of designating something to the afterlife, or the item so designated. Perhaps a second but identical noun (or else this same noun) describes a fishing net. Such a net is of course an item with which fish are extracted from their natural economy and designated their afterlife.
For a meaning of the name Harim, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the positive outcome of the haram-process and reads Consecrated To God.
Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) probably realized that when our verb applies to people, it always indicates their death and destruction. Hence Jones goes with the autolysis/necrosis option and translates our name with Snub-Nosed.
BDB Theological Dictionary agrees with NOBSE and reads Consecrated.