[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Wed Oct 17 01:14:20 EDT 2007


Isaac,

Thanks for your enlightening explanations.

I guess the time has come to explain why this word is of interest to me.

My idea has to do with the story in Judges 14 of Samson and
the lion with the honeycomb.

Samson poses a riddle to the Phillistines
  from the devourer food comes out, and from the strong sweet emanates
(my translation)
but the riddle is seemingly impossible to figure out.

The classical Jewish commentators claim that Samson expected
his hosts to come and greet them, and thus they should have seen the
lion.
But this is obviously a forced explanation.

I had an idea about this. A riddle should be a play on words that the
average
person could figure out. There should be a single word with more than
one meaning.
In this case the association was triggered by Samson's seeing the lion
and honeycomb.

My idea is that if )RH truly means "to collect a liquid", then possibly
there was a noun )RY meaning "honeycomb" - perhaps along with Y(R -
or more likely some vessel to collect honey.

Assuming this, the play on words is obvious. )RY means both "lion"
and this "collection vessel" or honeycomb. The Phillistines should
have realized that there was a word that meant both "the strong, the
devourer"
and "the sweet, food".

Unfortunately, the Phillistines couldn't figure it out, and had to
plough
with Samsons hepher. 

However much I would like to make this riddle reasonable,
I need more evidence ergarding the root )RH before taking this idea
seriously.

Yaakov (J) Stein



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