🔼The name Jeremoth: Summary
- Elevation, High Places
- Rain Of Death
- From the verb רום (rum), to be high.
- From (1) the verb ירה (yara), to cast or shoot, and (2) the verb מות (mut), to kill or die.
🔼The name Jeremoth in the Bible
There are three or four men in the Bible named Jeremoth (and eight more endowed with the highly similar name ירימות — Jerimoth):
- The first real Jeremoth we meet is a son of Beriah and family leader of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:14).
- The other Jeremoths are listed in rapid succession by Ezra the Reformer among the men of Israel who had married and would divorce their foreign wives. They are a son of Elam (Ezra 10:26), a son of Zattu (10:27) and a son of Bani (10:29). Because some manuscripts spell this name as ורמות (meaning "and Ramoth"), some translations print the name Ramoth in Ezra 10:29 (KJV, JSP, Darby and Young).
🔼Etymology of the name Jeremoth
The name Jeremoth is closely akin to 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, 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.
Two derivatives that show our name's signature letter taw are רמות (ramut), meaning height or high place, and רוממות (romemuth), meaning uplifting or arising.
For a meaning of the name Jeremoth, NOBSE Study Bible Name List suggests Elevation, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads High Places, Liftings Up
Note that our name Jeremoth seems to carry a bit of word play. Besides the above etymology, which is linguistically most plausible, it also resembles relations with the verb ירה (yara), meaning to cast or shoot:
The verb ירה (yara) describes the bringing about of a unified effect by means of many little impulses (arrows, stones, words, instructions, rain drops, and so on). Noun יורה (yoreh) refers to rain that falls during the first period of the agricultural year, when seedlings bud but don't bear fruit yet. Noun מורה (moreh) may either also refer to early rain, or it means teacher, who is a person who teaches children who can't think for themselves yet. Noun תורה (tora), refers to any set of instructions (hence the familiar word Torah).
The verb ירא (yara') describes the same process, but rather from the perspective of the receiving "soil": to revere, to pay heed to, and in extreme cases: to fear. Nouns יראה (yir'a), מורא (mora') and מורה (mora) cover the broad spectrum between reverence and fear, between anything awe-inspiring and anything terrifying.
And secondly, with the verb מות (mut), meaning to kill or die:
The verb מות (mut) means to die or kill. Nouns מות (mawet), ממות (mamot), and תמותה (temuta) mean death. In a theology that operated perpendicularly upon that which worshipped life, death was venerated under the names Mot and Mawet.
The noun מת (mat) is a word for man, and particularly a man capable of combat and exerting death.
And that means that the name Jeremoth may also be seen as to mean Rain Of Death.