🔼The name Madmen: Summary
- Dunghill, Manure Pit
- From the noun מדמנה (madmena), manure pit, from the verb דמן (dmn), to produce waste.
🔼The name Madmen in the Bible
The name Madmen (which has nothing to do with silly guys) occurs only once in the Bible. In his prophecy against Moab, the prophet Jeremiah cries out: "You too, Madmen (מדמן), will be silenced (דמם)," which seems to indicate that Madmen is an otherwise unmentioned town in Moab, but that's not wholly certain (Jeremiah 48:2).
🔼Etymology of the name Madmen
Jeremiah appears to speak of a town in Moab called Madmen, but Isaiah in his prophecy against Moab says: "Moab will be trodden down in his place as straw is trodden down in the water of a מדמנה (madmena)" (Isaiah 25:10). It may be that Jeremiah is mentioning a town and Isaiah engages in wordplay, but it's also possible that in the prophets' time Moab had a reputation of being a bit of a cesspool and Jeremiah invents a nickname on the fly.
The "name" Madmen is the masculine variant of the feminine noun מדמנה (madmena), which Isaiah uses, and both derive from the root דמן (dmn), which has to do with producing waste:
The root דמם (ddm) is all about beginnings — or rather the simplicity from whence complexity arises — from being still before the noise starts to being monochromatic before color vision starts. Verb דמם (damam) means to be still, noun דממה (demama) denotes calmness and דמה (dumma) denotes a silenced person. Noun דומה (duma) describes the silence of death, noun דומיה or דמיה (dumiya) the silence of waiting and noun דומם (dumam) the silence of inertia or inactivity.
Verb דמה (dama I) describes making a (still) image. Nouns דמות (demut) and דמין (dimyon) mean likeness. Verb דמה (dama II) means to stop, halt or arrest. Noun דמי (domi) means a halting. Whatever the unused verb דמן (dmn) might have meant, noun דמן (domen) denotes refuse and מדמנה (madmena) a manure pit.
Unused verb אדם ('dm) may have meant to produce or begin to produce. Noun אדם (adam) is one of a few words for man but means literally probably "product" or likeness-made-from-soil; man as corporeal unit of humanity. This word is never used in plural, and its feminine equivalent, namely אדמה (adama), denotes arable soil or clay-red earth.
Red is the first color a baby learns to see and red or ruddy is indeed the color of rudiment: verb אדם ('adom or 'adem) means to be red, adjective אדם ('adom) means red, noun אדם ('odem) denotes a ruddy gem, possibly quartz, noun אדם ('edom) denotes a kind of red stew, adjective אדמדם ('adamiddam) means reddish, and adjective אדמוני (admoni) means red or ruddy.
The ubiquitous noun דם (dam) means blood; the seat of life.
For a meaning of the name Madmen, both Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and NOBSE Study Bible Name List read Dunghill. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't offer an interpretation of this name but does list it under the root דמן (dmn).