🔼The name Joram: Summary
- Yah Is Exalted, The Lord Exalts
- From (1) יה (yah), the name of the Lord, and (2) the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Joram in the Bible
There are four people named Joram in the Bible, two kings, one prince and one grandfather of a high official:
- The grandfather called Joram is the grandfather of Shelomoth, who was in charge of all the treasuries and gifts that king David and his military commanders had dedicated to YHWH (1 Chronicles 26:25)
- The prince called Joram is a son of Toi, king of Hamath. The latter sent his son to bring gifts and homage to king David after he had defeated the army of Hadadezer, the son of king Rehob of Zobah, who had also fought against Toi (2 Samuel 8:10). David dedicated all these gifts to YHWH, as he did with all the other spoils of his wars. The Chronicler calls this Joram Hadoram (1 Chronicles 18:10).
- A king named Joram is the son and successor of king Jehoshaphat of Judah. He is called Joram in 2 Kings 8:21-24 and 1 Chronicles 3:11, and Jehoram (יהורם) in 1 Kings 22:50, 2 Kings 1:17 to 8:16, 8:25-29, 12:18, and 2 Chronicles 21-22. Since this Joram is an ancestor of Christ, the evangelist Matthew mentions him in his genealogy through David's son Solomon (spelled Ιωραμ, Ioram; Matthew 1:8).
- The other king called Joram is the son and successor of king Ahab of Israel, who was killed by Jehu. He is called Joram in 2 Kings 8 and 9:14, 9:16 and 9:29, Jehoram in 2 Kings 3 and 9:15 and 9:17-24. In 2 Chronicles 22:5-7 these two verses are used simultaneously.
🔼Etymology of the name Joram
The name Joram is a contracted version of the name Jehoram (like Pete and Peter, or Bill and William), and means the same. Both consist of two elements, the first one being יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The second part of our name comes from the verb רום (rum) meaning to be high:
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.
For a meaning of the name Joram, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Exalted, and BDB Theological Dictionary has the similar Yah Is Exalted. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes The Lord Exalts.