🔼The name Rimmon: Summary
- Pomegranate, Apex, Harvest Ready
- From the noun רמון (rimmon), pomegranate, from the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Rimmon in the Bible
The name Rimmon (or Remmon in some translations) is in the Bible applied to a deity, a man, a rock and a few cities. The Rimmons of the Bible are:
- The main deity of Aram (2 Kings 5:18 only — the name Rimmon occurs three times in this verse; the latter two occurrences are spelled רמן). This Rimmon is generally thought to be the same as Hadad, the northwest Semitic storm god, whose control over rain also made him the god of agriculture and fertility (comparable with Zeus in Greece and Jupiter in Rome). When Elisha heals the Aramean general Naaman, the latter wants to worship only YHWH, but wonders if he would get into trouble when he would assist his monarch in his worship of Rimmon. Most strikingly, Elisha tells him not to worry about that.
- A Benjaminite Beerothite and the father of Baanah and Rechab, two military commanders who murdered Ish-bosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan, the son of king Saul (2 Samuel 4:2).
- A certain rock toward which thousands of Benjaminites fled during the war with the other tribes, which erupted as retaliation for the atrocities committed at Gibeah (Judges 20:45). Only 600 of them reached the Rock of Rimmon, and remained there for four months, until the men of Israel gave them permission to raid Shiloh and abduct the 400 virgins of Jabesh-gilead (Judges 21:13).
- A town in south Judah (Joshua 15:32), which was eventually people by Simeonites (Joshua 19:7, 1 Chronicles 4:32). This is probably the same Rimmon as mentioned by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 14:10). Because this Rimmon is often associated with Ain, some scholars insist that it is the same as En-rimmon mentioned in Nehemiah 11:29.
- A town on the eastern border of the territory of Zebulun (Joshua 19:13). This Rimmon is probably the same as the Rimmono mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:77 and the Dimnah mentioned in Joshua 21:35.
🔼Etymology of the name Rimmon
The name Rimmon is the same as the common Hebrew word רמון (rimmon), meaning pomegranate:
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, 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.
So, yes, the name Rimmon means Pomegranate, but with a big footnote. By application it would mean something like Mature Mind or Harvest Ready.