🔼The name Kemuel: Summary
- Congregation Of God
- God's Rising, God's Grain
- From (1) a verb that means to gather together, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
- From (1) the verb קום (qum), to rise up or stand, and (2) the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Kemuel in the Bible
The name Kemuel is assigned three times in the Bible:
🔼Etymology of the name Kemuel
The name Kemuel is a compilation of two elements, the final one being אל, the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The first part is a bit of a mystery. Both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names follow the venerable theologian W. Gesenius, who derived this name from an unused Hebrew root that may or may not have been similar in meaning to an Arabic verb meaning to gather together, or to collect. Both NOBSE and Jones translate the name Kemuel with Congregation Of God.
That may or may not be the original meaning of the original name, but to any Hebrew audience, it would have sounded like a compilation of the word אל and an expression of the verb קום (qum), meaning to rise up or stand:
Verb קום (qum) means to stand or rise up, both literally (getting up from sitting or erecting some statue) or figuratively (establishing someone in some office). Noun קימה (qima) means a rising up, noun תקומה (tequma), denotes an ability or power to stand, and noun מקום (maqom) describes some set location, place to stand or station.
Noun קמה (qoma) or קומה (qoma) means height or highness and noun קים (qim) describes someone who rises up against someone (an adversary or enemy). Noun קיממיות (qommiyut) means uprightness. Noun קמה (qama) denotes standing grain. And noun יקום (yequm) denotes substance or existence.
Perhaps the name Kemuel means Congregation Of God, as Gesenius proposed. But perhaps it more so brought to mind the word קמה (qama), meaning standing grain, and the idea of a human harvest, such as reflected in Matthew 9:37, and means God's Grain. But perhaps it reminded a Hebrew audience of the verb קום in general and was interpreted as God's Rising, denoting God's defense of people, or a campaign against evil.