🔼The name Jerimoth: 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 Jerimoth in the Bible
There are eight men in the Bible with the name Jerimoth (and three more with the highly similar name ירמות — Jeremoth). The Jeremoths of the Bible are:
- A son of Bela, the first-born of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 7:7).
- A son of Becher, the second son of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 7:8).
- A mighty-man of David who came to him in Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:5).
- A son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi (1 Chronicles 23:23).
- A son of Heman and brother of Joshbekashah (1 Chronicles 25:4).
- A son of Azriel and chief of Naphtali (1 Chronicles 27:19).
- A son of king David and father of Mahalath, the wife of king Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:18).
- A priest who helped clean up the temple during the reformations of king Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:13).
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Jerimoth
The name Jerimoth has to do with רם (rum), meaning height:
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.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List offers no translation for Jerimoth but reads Elevation for Jeremoth. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes High Places or Liftings Up for both Jeremoth and Jerimoth.
However, it seems that this name contains something of a play on words. Jerimoth can also be seen as being drawn from 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, from 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.