[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:30:52 EDT 2007


First of all, remember that Song of Songs is poetry, where allusions
are made that may or may not correspond to physical actions.
this case, "nibbling at myrrh" is a poetic reference to enjoying the
intimacy of his beloved.

As for )RR, as is common for eyin doubled verbs, the second resh often
falls off and in the case of Baleq, a final hey added to indicate
request, even demand, that Bilaam curse Israel. If you check a
concordance, you will find Baleq's demands listed under )RR.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 10/16/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> Karl
> Yes, it would be great for context should )RH mean "to nibble".
> But do you know of anyone eating myrrh ?
> Not very tasty. Even with spices.
> The classical translations and commentaries all have "gather"
> for the word in Song of Songs.
> All the English translations of Psalms 80:13 seem to say "to pluck"
> although they don't really say what is being plucked.
> The translation is, once again, due to context.
> The expression is succeeded by words meaning "to eat"
> but on the other hand is preceded by breaking down fences.
> I understand it as the other )RH, meaning "to curse".
>   Why did you break down its (Israel's) fences,

Looking back at verse 8, the walls were around a vineyard. And was not
the purpose of the walls to keep out animals that would nibble at the
flowers and grapes of the vines?

>   and why are the passers-by cursing it?

With the walls broken down, those that pass by have access to nibble
at the vine.

>   (Why) are the pigs eating it,

Again without the wall, pigs can uproot it.

>   and the beasts of the field grazing away at it ?

And the throngs of the field can feed on it.
> Yes, the word )RH when it means "to curse" is related to the far more
> common  )RR,
> but is does not seem to be the same root.

It is listed as the same root, in this case I just follow the lead
made by others.

> It is used in the Bilaam story over and over -
> go and curse = )RH them for me.
> Were the root to have been )RR, the conjugation would have been )RWR,
> not )RH.
> Yaakov (J) Stein

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