🔼The name Romamti-ezer: Summary
- I Have Raised Up Help, I Have Made Lofty Help
- From (1) the verb רום (rum), to be high, and (2) the verb עזר (azar), to help or support.
🔼The name Romamti-ezer in the Bible
There's only one man in the Bible with the elaborate name Romamti-ezer. He was one of the fourteen sons of the famous musician Heman, who worked in the temple during the days of king David (1 Chronicles 25:4, spelled רממתי עזר). Under the direction of their father, these men sang and played various instruments during services of worship of the God of Israel. And when the less noble duties had to be assigned, Romamti-ezer and twelve of his sons and relatives, caught the twenty-fourth lot (1 Chronicles 25:31, spelled רוממתי עזר).
🔼Etymology of the name Romamti-ezer
The name Romamti-ezer obviously consists of two elements. The first part appears to be reminiscent of the noun רוממות (romemut), meaning uplifting, arising, from the verb רום (rum), meaning to be high. Or (as the sources we routinely consult insist) it's a first person form of a grammatical category (namely the Piel stem) that turns a verb (to be high) into a transitive verb (to cause to rise). That would also cause the final מ (mem) of the verb רום to double. But all agree that the first segment of our name comes from the following:
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.
If this first segment is a noun, the letter י (yod) upon which this segment ends may either create a possessive form (my uplifting, or uplifting of), or it may form an adjective (ascending), or it may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
The second part of our name comes from the verb עזר (azar), meaning to help or support:
The verb עזר ('azar), means to help or support, and is often used in military contexts, or to describe God's proverbial help. The nouns עזר ('azar) and עזרה ('ezra) both mean help. A much rarer but identically spelled noun עזרה ('azara) means enclosure and comes probably from an other root.
All together, if we take the first part of the name Romamti-ezer to be a noun, it would mean something like My Ascent Supports, or Rise Of Enclosure. But that appears to be not the most attractive interpretation. For a meaning of the name Romamti-ezer, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads I Have Raised Up Help and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has I Have Lifted Up Help. BDB Theological Dictionary appears to apply the rising part as an adjective and proposes I Have Made Lofty Help.