🔼The name Tabrimmon: Summary
- Good Pomegranate, Supreme Goodness, Rimmon Is Good
- From (1) the verb טוב (tob), to be good, and (2) the noun רמון (rimmon), pomegranate or apex, from the verb רום (rum), to be high.
🔼The name Tabrimmon in the Bible
The name Tabrimmon occurs only once in the Bible. It belongs to the father of Ben-hadad, king of Aram, to whom king Asa of Judah gave all the silver and gold left in the temple of YHWH and the royal palace in order to establish a treaty between Judah and Aram.
The reason for this was that king Baasha of Israel, which was sandwiched between Aram and Judah, had been preparing to go to war with Judah (1 Kings 15:18).
🔼Etymology of the name Tabrimmon
The name Tabrimmon consists of two elements. The first part is the same as the verb טוב (tob), meaning to be pleasing or good:
The verb טוב (tob) means to be good or pleasant, and ultimately to be sustained or sustainable, first relative to society but ultimately to the universe at large. Adjective and noun טוב (tob) means good; noun טוב (tub), describes a good thing or goodness, and noun טובה (toba) denotes welfare.
Closely related verb יטב (yatab) means to be or do good (to do sustainable things). Noun מיטב (metab) means the best.
A proposed root טבב (tabab) may have meant something like to keep forever, to be perpetual, to be stable.
The second part of our name is probably a variant of the name of Aram's prime deity, Rimmon, which in turn is identical to the noun רמון (rimmon), meaning pomegranate, the symbol of ultimate height:
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.
For a meaning of the name Tabrimmon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List: Rimmon Is Good, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Goodness Of Rimmon and BDB Theological Dictionary has Ramman Is Good or Ramman Is Wise.