🔼The name Talmai: Summary
- From the verb תלם (talam), to plow.
🔼The name Talmai in the Bible
There are two men named Talmai in the Bible:
- The first Talmai we meet is one of three sons of Anak, and patriarch of the corresponding subdivision of the Anakim (Numbers 13:22). Talmai's brothers are Ahiman and Sheshai, and they live in Hebron before the Israelites begin their invasion of Canaan. Joshua drives them out of Hebron (Joshua 15:14) and the tribe of Judah kills them (Judges 1:10).
- The other Talmai is a son of Ammihud and king of Geshur, as well as the father of Maacah, who became one of David's wives and the mother of Absalom and Tamar (2 Samuel 3:3). After killing his half-brother Amnon, Absalom flees to his grandfather Talmai and stays there three years (2 Samuel 13:37).
🔼Etymology of the name Talmai
The name Talmai probably comes from the root תלם (tlm):
The noun תלם (telem) means furrow and is assumed to derive from a verb תלם (talam), to plow or till the soil.
The final yod of the name Talmai may be due to a possessive form: My telem, or an adjective: telem-like.
The name Talmai may mean My Furrow, or it may be a kind of ethnonym: The Talmite, or The Furrow Man. It may also have to do with a plural form (as demonstrated in Hosea 10:4 and 12:12): Furrows.
Taking the word telem from tel, the name Talmai may also mean My Mount or Hill Man.
For a meaning of the name Talmai, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the ethnonym and reads Plowman. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees a plural and reads Abounding In Furrows. BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate.