🔼The name Regemmelech: Summary
- Coalition Is King
- From (1) the verb רגם (ragam), to coalesce, and (2) the noun מלך (melek), king.
🔼The name Regemmelech in the Bible
The name Regemmelech occurs only once in the Bible. The prophet Zechariah tells how the town's council of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regemmelech to the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem to inquire whether the Lord wanted them to fast and wail on some specific time.
The Lord's answer through Zechariah inquired of the men whether they truly fasted for Him, since when they eat, they eat for themselves (Zechariah 7:6). This seems to reflect something similar to what Jesus said about the Sabbath: the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).
🔼Etymology of the name Regemmelech
The name Regemmelech consists of two elements. The first part comes from the verb רגם (ragam), meaning to coalesce, or rather to form a bonded collective that executes an unwanted element by stoning:
The verb רגם (ragam) means to stone, or rather more precise: to strongly unite with a bunch of like-minded people and throw stones at someone until that person dies. Curiously enough, the noun רגמה (rigma) means throng or troupe, and emphasizes the bonding of joint-stoners rather than, say, the throwing of stones or the dying of the recipient. Comparable verbs in cognate languages actually mean to be friends or to join with others.
The second part of our name is the same as the word מלך (melek), meaning king:
The noun מלך (melek) means king, and a king is not merely a glorified tribal chief but the alpha of a complex, stratified society, implying a court and a complex government.
The Bible insists that a society must be governed by a triad of anointed sovereigns, namely prophets, priests and the king. A good king causes his people to be prosperous and peaceful whereas a bad one causes poverty and strife. The difference between the two is dictated by how close to the Law of Nature (a.k.a. the Word of God) the king operates. A kingdom that is wholly in tune with the Law consists of only sovereign individuals and is thus without a physical king.
An Aramaic cognate verb מלך (malak) means to consult, which confirms that the concept of royalty indeed evolved from wisdom and intellectual prowess rather than brute physical or political strength, as is commonly suggested.
From this noun derives the verb מלך (malak): to be or become king, the nouns מלכה (malka) and מלכת (meleket): queen or court-lady, the noun מלוכה (meluka): kingship or royalty, and the nouns מלכות (malkut), ממלכה (mamlaka) and ממלכות (mamlakut), meaning sovereignty or kinghood.
For a meaning of the name Regemmelech, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Friend Of The King, which seems to suggest that the name is thought to represent the bearer of the name — which is not how Hebrew names work; Hebrew names are often commemorative of events or aspects of the divine. Instead, this name rather reflects the idea that a strong society is brought about when all individuals respond to a crisis by teaming up and collectively affronting the cause of it: Coalition Is King.