🔼The name Jehoram: Summary
- Yah Is High
- From (1) יה (yah), the name of the Lord, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Jehoram in the Bible
- To make the confusion even greater, "Jehoram [son of Ahab] became king [over Israel] in the second year of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah," according to 2 Kings 1:17, but according to 2 Kings 8:16, "in the fifth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel [ ] Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king". He was as evil as the kings of Israel and even married Ahab daughter (2 Kings 8:18).
According to the Chronicler, king Jehoshaphat was somewhat virtuous but his son Jehoram made a fine mess of things. He started his reign by killing his six brothers (Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah — 2 Chronicles 21:2-4) as well as some local leaders of Israel. Then he caused the perpetual revolt of Edom and Libnah (21:10) and built centers of worship for gods other than YHWH (21:11). Right before the Philistines and Arabs plundered his house and abducted his wives and sons, Elijah the Tishbite foretold his death by disease. Two years later he died in horrible agony, and no one mourned for him. He was then 40 years old (21:20).
- The other king Jehoram was also not very good, although he wasn't as bad as his father Ahab (2 Kings 3:2). A man named Jehu, who was a son of another Jehoshaphat, assassinated king Jehoram, and ditched his body on the field of Naboth of Jezreel (9:25), and succeeded Jehoram as king over Israel.
- A Levitical teacher in the days of king Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:8).
The names of both kings Jehoram are contracted to Joram (יורם) in 2 Kings 8 and some other places.
🔼Etymology of the name Jehoram
The name Jehoram consists of two elements, the first one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
The second part of the name Jehoram comes from the verb 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.
For a meaning of the name Jehoram, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is High. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes The Lord Exalts and BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Yah Is Exalted.