🔼The name Remaliah: Summary
- Yahu Adorned
- From (1) the verb רמל (ramal), to adorn, and (2) יהו (yahu), the name of the Lord.
🔼The name Remaliah in the Bible
The name Remaliah is actually Remaliahu (רמליהו); names that end on יה (yah) often also occur as the יהו (yahu) variant, and although this variant is rarer, on occasion only the yahu-variant survives. English translations maintain a naming convention that omits the yahu-variant all together, which is why we speak of Remaliah while it's actually Remaliahu.
There is only one man named Remaliah(u) in the Bible and he is the father of Pekah, the murderer and successor of king Pekahiah of Israel. Remaliah himself has no active role in the Bible and his name occurs solely in connection with his son, fourteen times from 2 Kings 15:25 to 16:5, 2 Chronicles 28:6 and Isaiah 7 and 8.
Isaiah only mentions the name Pekah once (7:1), and refers to this man otherwise as "son of Remaliah" (7:4, 7:5, 7:9 and 8:6).
🔼Etymology of the name Remaliah
The name Remaliah consists of two elements, the final one being יהו (yahu), which is short for יהוה or YHWH.
The first part of our name comes from a verb רמל (ramal), which does not occur in the Hebrew of the Bible but probably did exist at the time. In Arabic a similar verb means to adorn, and is used either in the sense of to deck with gems or to stain with blood (according to Gesenius).
For a meaning of the name Remaliah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Whom Yahweh Has Adorned and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the similar Adorned Of The Lord. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer a translation of our name but does list it under the otherwise unused verb רמל (ramal) and refers to the Arabic cognate.