What does Thomas mean?

tomIf your name is Thomas, then you are a twin.  Well, your name means twin.

The name Thomas comes from the Hebrew word תאום ta’om which means “twin.” So you can see how the Thomas started more like the nick-name we have now, Tom. The common form of Hebrew during and after the Second Temple period was Aramaic–sort of like the street Hebrew.  Aramaic added an “a” at the end of the name: so now you have Thoma. Leave it to the Greeks to add the “s.”  They liked doing that to men’s names.   So there you have Th-om-a-s.

Visit the streets in Israel where the kids play football and you might hear the name Tom, but it sounds like Tome.

So if your name is Thomas, should you be looking for a twin brother?

Song of Solomon uses this term in SOS 4:2

Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn,

which came up from the washing;

all of which bear twins,

and none is barren among them.

Right now, I am actually looking at a flock of sheep here in Surrey, England.  Being able to observe sheep on a daily basis gives me object lessons on the Bible. I have learned that most of them will give birth to twin lambs.  You rarely see a sheep with just one lamb.


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