(Heb. Gammadim', גִּמָּדים; Sept. φύλακες, Vulg. Pygmaei, A.V. "Gammadims") is the name of a class of men mentioned in Eze 27:11, as defenders of the towers of Tyre in connection with the mercenaries from Arad. SEE TYRE. A variety of explanations of the term have been offered.

(1.) Some (e.g. Forster, Dict. Ebr. Nov. s.v.) suppose a connection with גֹּמֶד, go'med, a cubit, q.d. cubit-high men, whence the Vulg. has pigmies (so Rashi, Kimchi, and others). Michaelis (Supplem. page 326) thinks that the apparent height alone is referred to, with the intention of conveying an idea of the great height of the towers. Spencer (De Leg. Heb. Rit. 2, cap. 24) explains it of small images of the tutelar gods, like the Lares of the Romans (see also his Dissert. de Gammadim, in Ugolini Thesaur. 23:18). This view seems to be refuted by Anthing, Dissertat. de sublesta τῶς גִּמָּדים per Pymaeos interpretatione (Vitemb. 1710).

Bible concordance for GAMMADIM.

(2.) Others (e.g. Pfeiffer, Dub. Vex. page 783; Ludolf, Comment. hist. AEthiop. pages 73, 74) treat it as a geographical or local term; Grotius holds Gamad to be a Hebraized form (ἄγκων for גֹּמֶד) of the name Ancon, a Phoenician town; the Chaldee paraphrase has Cappadocians, as though reading גּפָדִים; Fuller (Miscell. 6:698) identifies them as the inhabitants of Gamala (Plin. 5:14); and again the word has been broken up into גִּם מָדים=also the Medes. Rosenmuller (Schol. ad loc.) thinks it the name of some obscure Phoenician town, not elsewhere mentioned. But these conjectures are equally without foundation (see Harduin, ad loc.; Reland, Palaest. page 784).

(3.) Most later interpreters give a more general military sense to the word. Gesenius (Thesaur. page 292) connects it with גֹּמֶד, a bough, whence the sense of brave warriors. Lee reiders short-swordsmen, from the same Arabie root. Havernick (ad loc.) understands daring ones, from an Aramaean root. Hitzig (ad loc.) suggests deserters (Ueberläufer), and draws attention to the preposition in as favoring this sense: he inclines, however, to the opinion that the pro'phet had in view Song 4:4, and that the word גּבּורים in that passage has been successively corrupted into שֹׁמרים, as read by the Sept., which gives φύλακες and גִּמָּדִים, as in the present text. The Syr. and Arabian interpreters agree with the Sept., rendering watchmen (so Luther, "Wachter"). Fürst (Heb. Lex. s.v.) refers the word to an obsolete גֶּמִד to place or make stand (akin with the above Arabic gamad, to be firm), and translates garrison (Besatzung), a view that seems to agree with the context. The following words of the verse — "They hanged their shields upon thy walls round about" — are illustrated by one of the bas-reliefs found at Kouyunjik (Layard, Nineveh, 2:296). — Smith, s.v.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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