🔼The name Jeremai: Summary
- High, He Will Be Exalted Of The Lord
- From (1) the verb רום (rum), to be high, and possibly (2) יה (yah), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Jeremai in the Bible
The name Jeremai occurs only once in the Bible, but it probably should be considered to be a shortened version of the name Jeremiah, which is a lot more popular. The one and only Jeremai is mentioned by Ezra the Reformer as one of the men of Israel who had married, and subsequently divorced foreign wives (Ezra 10:33).
🔼Etymology of the name Jeremai
The name Jeremai consists of two elements:
The core of the name comes from the word רם (rum), meaning height, 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 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.
The letter yod with which the name begins is probably due to the future or active form of the verb: he will rum. The final yod is either due to a possessive: my, or it is a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.
For a meaning of the name Jeremai, Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) thinks that the final yod comes from Yah, and reads He Will Be Exalted Of The Lord. NOBSE Study Bible Name List ignores the yod on both ends and simply, very simply, reads High.