[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 03:24:59 EDT 2007


)RH I understand as having the meaning of "to nibble", i.e. to eat
with small bites.

It is also found in Psalms 80:13.

)RR is the word for "to curse".

Is there any cognate language clarification?

Karl W. Randolph.

On 10/15/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> In chapter 5 of the Song of Songs
> we have a line about "gathering" myrrh with spice,
> eating a honeycomb with honey and drinking wine with milk.
> The word MWR = myrrh is related to MR referring to its bitter taste,
> in contrast to honey which is sweet, although of similar color.
> The root of the word for "gather" is )RH, which appears in this sense
> only here (the other uses mean "to curse", and are apparently
> unrelated).
> The interpretation of )RH is apparently gathered from context.
> Myrrh would not be eaten or drunk, so what else could ARH mean ?
> Although myrrh globules are sometimes found on the ground
> near the trees, myrrh is usually collected by cutting the surface
> of the tree or bush and slowly collecting the golden sap as it exudes.
> Collecting myrrh with "spice" would be an unusual practice,
> but B&M here could possibly mean frankincense = LBWNH
> which is collected in a similar manner.
> Also note that honey may be similarly collected by waiting
> for it to drip from the honeycomb = Y(R.
> Although the other liquids mentioned are less viscous
> they require intervention for their collection.
> Wine juice is collected in a collection vat
> after pressing of the grapes in the GT = winepress;
> and milk is collected in a N)D or XMT by milking the animal.
> So could )RH mean "collecting a dripping (viscous) liquid" ?
> I was wondering if anyone knows of a cognate of )RH
> in another Semitic language, to help understand its meaning.
> (I have a reason for asking, but I don't want to explain yet
> in order not to prejudice any possible answers.)
> Yaakov (J) Stein

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