Rimmon (2)

Rim'mon (Heb. Rimmon', רַמּוֹן, a pomegranate, as often), the name of an idol, of a man, and also of several places; all probably having some allusion to the pomegranate, especially the localities, which were doubtless so named from the abundance of that fruit in the vicinity, although in modern times, owing to the neglect which has for ages prevailed under Turkish rule, that tree is comparatively scarce. SEE RIMMON METHOAR; SEE RIMMON PAREZ.

1. (Sept. ῾Ρεμμάν.) A deity worshipped by the Syrians of Damascus, where there was a temple or house of Rimmon (2Ki 5:18). Traces of the name of this god appear also in the proper names Hadadrimmon and Tabrimmon, but its signification is doubtful. Serarius, quoted by Selden (De Dis Syris, 2, 10), refers it to the Heb. rimmon, a pomegranate, a fruit sacred to Venus, who is thus the deity worshipped under this title (comp. Pomona, from pomum). Ursinus (Arboretum Bibl. cap. 32, 7) explains Rimmon as the pomegranate, the emblem of the fertilizing principle of nature, the personified natura naturans, a symbol of frequent occurrence in the old religions (Bahr, Symbolik, 2, 122). If this be the true origin of the name, it presents us with a relic of the ancient tree worship of the East, which we know prevailed in Palestine. But Selden rejects this derivation, and proposes instead that Rimmon is from the root רוּם, ram, "to be high," and signifies "most high;" like the Phoenician Elium, and the Hebrew עֶליוֹן. Hesychius gives ῾Ραμάς, ὁ ὕ ψιστος θεός. Clericus, Vitringa, Rosenmüller, and Gesenius were of the same opinion. Movers (Phon. 1, 196, etc.) regards Rimmon as the abbreviated form of Hadadrimmon (as Peor for Baal-Peor), Hadad being the sun god of the Syrians. Combining this with the pomegranate, which was his symbol, Hadadrimmon would then be the sun god of the late summer, who ripens the pomegranate and other fruits, and, after infusing into them his productive power, dies, and is mourned with "the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon" (Zec 12:11).

2. (Sept. ῾Ρεμμών.) A Benjamite of Beeroth, and the father of Rechab and Baanah, the murderers of Ishbosheth (2Sa 4:2,5,9). B.C. ante 1053.

Bible concordance for RIMMON.

3. (Sept. ῾Ρεμμών v.r. Ε᾿ρεμώθ, etc.) A town in the southern portion of Judah (Jos 15:32), allotted to Simeon (Jos 19:7; 1Ch 4:32: in the former of these two passages it is inaccurately given in the A.V. as "Remmon"). In each of the above lists the name succeeds that of Ain, also one of the cities of Judah and Simeon. In the catalogue of the places reoccupied by the Jews after the return from Babylon (Ne 11:29) the two are joined, and inaccurately appear in the A.V. as "En-Rimmon" (q.v.). It is grouped with Ziklag and Beersheba, and must consequently have been situated near the southern border of the tribe. Rimmon would appear to have stood towards the western extremity of Simeon, and thus south of the plain of Philistia; for Joshua, in enumerating "the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah," begins at the coast of Edom on the east, and Rimmon is the last of twenty-nine, and therefore must have been near the western extremity. The only other notice of it in the Bible is in the prophecies of Zechariah "All the land shall be turned as a plain, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem" (Zec 14:10). The land referred to is the kingdom of Judah; Geba lay on the northern and Rimmon on the southern border. Though both Eusebius and Jerome mention Rimmon, their notices are so confused, and even contradictory, that they evidently knew nothing of it. They appear to have confounded three towns of the same name. In one place Jerome calls it a town "of Simeon or Judah;" and yet he locates it "fifteen miles north of Jerusalem." In the very next notice he writes, "Remmon, in tribu Simeonis, vel Zabulon" (Onomast. s.v. "Remmon"). Under the name Eremmon (Ε᾿ρεμβών, Onomast. s.v.) both Eusebius and Jerome appear to give a more accurate account of the site of this city. They state that it is a "very large village" (vicus proegrandis), sixteen miles south of Eleutheropolis. This was no doubt pretty nearly its true position (see Reland, Paloest. p. 973). About thirteen miles south of Eleutheropolis (now Beit Jibrin) is a ruined village called Khurbet Um er-Rumanim ("Mother of Pomegranates"), which in all probability marks the site, as it bears the name, of Rimmon of Simeon. On the top of the hill there are the foundations of an important square building of large well-dressed stones, and lower down there are the bases of three columns in situ (Quar. Statement of "Pal. Explor. Fund," Jan, 1878, p. 13). A short distance (about a mile) south of it are two tells, both of which are covered with ruins; and between them, in the valley, is "a copious fountain, filling a large ancient reservoir, which for miles around is the chief watering place of the Bedouin of this region" (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 344). As fountains are extremely rare in this southern district, it seems probable that this one may have given the name of Ain to the ancient town on the adjoining tell; and the proximity of Ain and Rimmon led to their being always grouped together.

4. (Heb. Rimmono', רַמּוֹנוֹ, his pomegranate; Sept. ἡ ῾Ρεμμών.) A city of Zebulun belonging to the Merarite Levites (1Ch 6:77). There is great discrepancy between the list in which it occurs and the parallel catalogue of Joshua 21. The former contains two names in place of the four of the latter, and neither of them the same. But it is not impossible that DIMNAH (Jos 21:35) may have been originally Rimmon, as the D and R in Hebrew are notoriously easy to confound. At any rate there is no reason for supposing that Rimmono is not identical with Rimmon of Zebulun (19:13), in the A.V. Remmon-methoar (q.v.). The redundant letter was probably transferred, in copying, from the succeeding word — at an early date, since all the MSS. appear to exhibit it, as does also the Targum of Joseph.

5. THE ROCK RIMMON (Heb. Sela ha-Rimmon, הָרַמּוֹן [also without the article] סֶלִע; Sept. ἡ πέτρα τοῦ ῾Ρεμμών; Josephus, πέτρα ῾Ροά; Vulg. petra cujus vocabulum est Remmon; petra Remmon), a cliff (such seems rather the force of the Hebrew word sela) or inaccessible natural fastness, in which the six hundred Benjamites who escaped the slaughter of Gibeah took refuge, and maintained themselves for four months until released by the act of the general body of the tribes (Jg 20:45,47; Jg 21:13). It is described as in the "wilderness" (midbar), that is, the wild, uncultivated (though not unproductive) country which lies on the east of the central highlands of Benjamin, on which Gibeah was situated — between them and the Jordan valley. This is doubtless the Rimmon which Eusebius and Jerome mention, locating it fifteen miles north of Jerusalem (Onomast. s.v. "Remmon"). About ten miles north of Jerusalem, and nearly four east of Bethel, is a very conspicuous white limestone tell, rising like a cone above the neighboring hill tops, and overlooking the whole wilderness down to the Jordan valley. Upon it stands a large modern village called Rummon. This is unquestionably the "Rock Rimmon" on which the Benjamites took refuge. It is admirably adapted for the purpose. A deep and wild ravine cuts off the approach from the south, and others skirt its western and northern sides, rendering it a natural fortress of great strength. The sides of the tell are steep, bare, and rocky, and could be defended by a few resolute men against a host. The top is rounded, affording ample space for the refugees, while along the sides are some large caverns (Robinson, Bib. Res. 3, 290; Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 344; Porter, Handbook, p. 217; Schwarz, Palest. p. 129).

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