🔼The name Ram: Summary
- High, Exalted
- From the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Ram in the Bible
There are three men named Ram in the Bible:
- The patriarch of a family that apparently also contained the Buzites; Job's fourth friend Elihu is a son of Barachel the Buzite of the family of Ram (Job 32:2). Some scholars assume that the Buzites came from Buz, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, and that this patriarch Ram is the same as Aram, the son of Kemuel, the brother of Buz. But that would require Barachel the Kemuelite to somehow slip over to the Buzites, so perhaps the Buzites didn't come from Buz the son of Nahor, but from some other Buz.
- A son of Hezron, son of Perez, the famous son of Judah and Tamar (Ruth 4:19, 1 Chronicles 2:9). This Ram is an ancestor of king David and thus also of Jesus the Nazarene (Matthew 1:3; spelled Αραμ — Aram).
- The first-born son of Jerahmeel, the brother of the previous Ram (1 Chronicles 2:25).
🔼Etymology of the name Ram
The name Ram 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 Ram, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads High, Exalted. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has High. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't interpret this name but does list it under the verb רום (rum).