Rimmon

RIMMON (rĭm'ŏn, Heb. rimmôn, pomegranate)



RIMMON rĭm’ ən רִמֹּ֥ון (for other forms see below); LXX see below; meaning pomegranate in Heb., or when borrowed from Akkad, the thunderer (cf. Akkad. ramanu “to roar.”

1. A Benjaminite of Beeroth whose two sons, Baanah and Rechab, guerilla captains, assassinated Saul’s son Ishbosheth (2 Sam 4:2-9; LXX ̔Ρεμμών).

2. A Syrian deity, a local representation of Hadad the god of storm, rain and thunder. In Syria this god is called “Baal,” i.e. the lord par excellence, and to the Assyrians he was known as Ramanu, “The Thunderer.” J. Gray noted: “The identity of Rimmon with Hadad...is confirmed by the fact that ‘Hadad’ occurs as an element in the theophoric name Ben-hadad borne by several kings of Syria, and Tabrimmon, the father of Benhadad, the contemporary of Asa of Judah” (IDB, IV, 99). The Jews prob. disparaged the name by altering the vowels to read in Heb. “The Pomegranate.”

Naaman, the commander of the Aramaean army worshiped in the temple of this deity at Damascus (2 Kings 5:17-19; LXX ̔Ρεμμὰν). D. J. Wiseman concluded: “the temple (of Rimmon) was probably sited beneath the present Ummayid mosque in that city, which itself was built over an older temple dedicated to Zeus, whose symbol like that of Rimmon, Hadad and Baal, was a thunderbolt” (NBD, 1097).


4. A border town of Zebulun (Josh 19:13; LXX ̔Ρεμμώνα, LXX Alexandrinus ̔Ρεμμὼν), assigned to the Merarite Levites (1 Chron 6:77 רִמּוֹנֹ֖ו; LXX ̔Ρεμμὼν), the synoptic passage, Joshua 21:35, reads דִּמְנָה, but prob. this Rimmon is meant because (1) Dimnah is otherwise unknown, (2) the Old Latin texts read Remmon here, and (3) the “D” and “R” are frequently confused by the scribes. It usually is located on the S edge of the Sahlel-Battof at modern Rummaneh, a village six m. NNE of Nazareth.

5. Six hundred survivors of the Benjaminites took refuge for four months at the Rock of Rimmon when pursued after the slaughter at Gibeah (Judg 20:45, 47; 21:13; LXX ̔Ρεμμων). Robinson (RB, I [1892], 440) identified this with Rammun, located on a lofty rock or conical chalk hill c. six m. NNE of Jeba’ (Gibeah) and three m. E of Bethel. This hill is visible in all directions, protected by ravines from the N, S, and W and contains many caves.

The RSV has no textual support for reading Rimmon in Isaiah 10:27. See Hadad.

Bibliography

A. Saarisalo, “Topographical Researches in Galilee,” JPOS, IX (1929), 27-40; F.-M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine, II (1938), 437 and passim; W. F. Albright, “The List of Levitic Cities,” Louis Ginzberg Jubilee Volume (1945), English section, 49-73; Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible (1967).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

rim’-on:

(1) The rock Rimmon (cela` rimmon; he petra Rhemmon): The place of refuge of the 600 surviving Benjamites of Gibeah (Jeba`) who "turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months" (Jud 20:45,47; 21:13). Robinson’s identification (RB, I, 440) has been very generally accepted. He found a conical and very prominent hill some 6 miles North-Northeast of Jeba` upon which stands a village called Rummon. This site was known to Eusebius and Jerome (OS 146 6; 287 98), who describe it as 15 Roman miles from Jerusalem. Another view, which would locate the place of refuge of the Benjamites in the Mugharet el jai, a large cavern on the south of the Wady Suweinit, near Jeba`, is strongly advocated by Rawnsley and Birch (see PEF, III, 137-48). The latter connects this again with 1Sa 14:2, where Saul, accompanied by his 600, "abode in the uttermost part of Gibeah" under the pomegranate tree (Rimmon).

(2) (rimmon; Eremmon, or Rhemmoth): A city in the Negeb, near the border of Edom, ascribed to Judah (Jos 15:32) and to Simeon (Jos 19:7; 1Ch 4:32, the King James Version "Remmon"). In Zec 14:10 it is mentioned as the extreme South of Judah--"from Geba to Rimmon, South of Jerusalem." In the earlier references Rimmon occurs in close association with `Ain (a spring), and in Ne 11:29, what is apparently the same place, `Ain Rimmon, is called En-rimmon (which see).

(3) (rimmon (Jos 19:13), rimmonah, in some Hebrew manuscripts dimah (see Dimnah) (Jos 21:35), and rimmono (1Ch 6:77)): In the King James Version we have "Remmon-methoar" in Jos 19:13, but the Revised Version (British and American) translates the latter as "which stretcheth." This was a city on the border of Zebulun (Jos 19:13) allotted to the Levites (Jos 21:35, "Dimnah"; 1Ch 6:77). The site is now the little village of Rummaneh on a low ridge South of the western end of the marshy plain el Battauf in Galilee; there are many rock-cut tombs and cisterns. It is about 4 miles North of el Mesh-hed, usually considered to be the site of Gath-hepher. See PEF, I, 363, Sh VI.


(rimmon, "pomegranate"; see Rimmon-perez):

(1) A Syrian god. Naaman the Syrian leper after being cured is troubled over the fact that he will still have to bow down in the house of the Syrian god, Rimmon, when his master goes into the house to worship leaning on his hand (2Ki 5:18). Elisha answers him ambiguously: "Go in peace." Judging from Naaman’s position and this incident, Rimmon must have been one of the leading gods of the Syrians worshipped in Damascus. He has been identified with Rammanu, the Assyrian god of wind, rain and storm. The name appears in the Syrian personal names HADADRIMMON and TABRIMMON (which see) and its meaning is dubious (ramamu, "to thunder" (?))

(2) A Benjamite of Beeroth, whose sons Baanah and Rechab assassinated Ish-bosheth (2Sa 4:2,5,9).