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CARMI (kar'mē)

One of the sons of Reuben, eldest son of Jacob, and head of the family of the “Carmites” (Gen.46.9; Num.26.6).An early descendant of Judah (probably great-grandson) and father of Achan (Josh.7.1), mentioned in 1Chr.4.1 KJV as “son” (niv, “descendent”) of Judah.

CARMI kär’ mī (כַּרְמִי, vineyard). The name of two men in the OT. 1. The father of Achan and the son of Zabdi, a member of the tribe of Judah (Josh 7:1, 18). His son Achan defiled all Israel by stealing from God what was devoted in Jericho. In 1 Chronicles the son is called Achar, the troubler of Israel (1 Chron 2:7). The Carmi of 1 Chronicles 4:1 is prob. the same. He is here described as a son of Judah in the sense of a descendant, not an infrequent practice in Heb.

2. A Son of Reuben who came to Egypt with Jacob (Gen 46:9). He had three brothers. From these brothers came the descendants of Reuben (Exod 6:14). From him sprang the Carmites (Num 26:6; 1 Chron 5:3).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(1) A son of Reuben who came to Egypt with Jacob (Ge 46:9; Ex 6:14; 1Ch 5:3). Also the name of a family of which Carmi was the head (Nu 26:6).

(2) A Judahite (1Ch 2:7), son of Zabdi, according to Jos 7:1, and father of Achan, who is given the name of "Achar" in 1Ch 2:7. This last form "Achar" is preferred to the usual "Achan" in order to bring out the play on the Hebrew word for "troubler." The Hebrew runs `akhar `okher yisra’el, "Achar, the troubler of Israel." As regards the phrase "the sons of Carmi" (1Ch 2:7), Carmi is probably to be taken as the son of Zimri (= Zabdi, Jos 7:1). The Targum, however, has "Carmi who is Zimri." The Septuagint identifies Zimri and Zabdi.

(3) In 1Ch 4:1, Carmi, elsewhere called son of Zabdi or Zimri, is made son of Judah; but Wellhausen correctly changes "Carmi" to "Chelubai" (compare 1Ch 2:9).

Horace J. Wolf