The earliest record of the name Leeman may come from the Ethiopian plateau. There are two small stones in a village in Tigre testifying that about 700 years before Christ there were four kings of the Shebans, three of whom associated queens with their rule, reigning over a mixed population of Shebans and Hebrews. The Sheban inscriptions (like Hebrew until after Christ) didn't use vowels so teh name of one king actually appears as LMN. However, when I was in Eritera and Ethiopia peopel told me my name (Leeman) was a well known ancient name and that LMN was in fact pronounced Leeman.
German and Dutch historians have told me that Leeman is a Jewish name and given to priests (Levites). Maybe it was a general Semitic name in the past. The name Solomon (SLMN), a name that is said to come from the Medina region of Saudi Arabia and was the Biblical king; and the title El Iman/Imam (LMN LMM) meaning a priest may have some relationship.
If anyone is interested in my research work on the Queen of Sheba and the evidence that ancient Judah and Israel until 586 BC were probably in SW Arabia, not Palestine, I shall be pleased to forward them a copy by email.
Professor Bernard Leeman
Al Akhawayn University
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