[b-hebrew] Num 11: 5 khaw-tseer'
hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Oct 4 16:53:20 EDT 2006
JP vd Giessen (FOL) wrote:
> I have a problem with translating Numbers 11: 5: khaw-tseer' is translated as
> "leek" (Allium porrum) in many translations, but in all other occurrencies it
> is translated as "grass".
> Is there any specific botanical background why this is "leek"? Could it be an
> Egyptian loanword?
HH: The word is known to have that meaning from
post-biblical Hebrew (MHb. = Middle Hebrew) and
the Samaritan Pentateuch. HAL lists it separately
from the word meaning grass, with this data:
MHb., > Sam.: leek Allium Porrum (Löw 2:131ff) Nu
Allium Porrum is the technical name for the leek
plant. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew wonders
whether there are actually three homonyms, one for
grass, one for reeds, and one for leeks. But DCH
often multiplies roots unnecessarily, in my view.
HH: If you go to the following website, there is a
photograph of the leek, and you can see that it is
a very grasslike plant. So perhaps "leek" is a
more specialized meaning of the common word:
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