🔼The name Lahmi: Summary
- Warrior, Eater
- From the verb לחם (laham), to eat (bread) and to wage war.
🔼The name Lahmi in the Bible
Roughly half a century after young David plinked Goliath of Gath, the army of now king David found itself at war with the Philistines. Elhanan, son of Jair of Bethlehem, took on Lahmi, the brother of Goliath, whose spear shaft was like a weaver's beam, and killed him (1 Chronicles 20:5).
🔼Etymology of the name Lahmi
The name Lahmi comes from the verb לחם (laham), meaning both to eat (bread) or to wage war:
The verb לחם (laham) means to fight or do battle and is used frequently in the Bible. Noun מלחמה (milhama) means battle or war and occurs even more. A noteworthy detail, however, is that very often God is the active subject in statement concerning both verb and noun, such as the enigmatic statement that the Lord is a "man of war."
The identical verb לחם (laham) means to eat or use as food, which appears to suggest that the act of military conquest and the act of eating (and thus of learning) is essentially the same. Before modern economy, nations would acquire wealth by invading others and taking their wealth, precisely the way a predator would kill a prey and feast of its flesh. Modern economy made man a plant eater, who only consumes what will grow back. The very common noun לחם (lehem) means food, bread or grain.
The letter י (yod) upon which our name ends, may either create an adjective (Bellicose or Edible), a possessive form (My Battle or My Food).
For a meaning of the name Lahmi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List sees the yod as the mark of the adjective, turns the name into an ethnonym and frustratingly translates our name as Bethlehemite. This is obviously quite daft since Lahmi was from Gath and the man who killed him was from Bethlehem.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names also goes with the adjective and translates Lahmi as A Warrior or An Eater. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but does list it under the verb לחם II (laham II), meaning to eat.