[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 09:14:05 EDT 2007


On 10/16/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> Karl,
> Thanks for your comments.
> Regarding concordances, they are mostly stuck in an older stratum
> of Hebrew grammar, where P(( verbs were considered the same as PW( ones,
That is not true, at least not the ones I have seen.

> rather than the more modern view of related, yet distinct roots.
> Either way, Deborah plays on the connection in her famous
One is used as a verb, one an adjective, though from the same root,
they are not the same word.

> Getting back to my point, I am trying to ascertain whether
> we can interpret )RH as "collect dripping liquid"
> rather than "gather fruit".
You are stuck on the "gathering" meaning, which I call into question,
based on context.

> Your counterexample is Psalms 80, where you want
> to use W)RWH as "gather", although there are no fruit
> around, nor gathering to be done. Nonetheless, collecting
> dripping liquid is an even harder translation there.
Go back and read what I wrote about Psalm 80, I have nothing about
"gather" there.

> I suggested that this word is actually from the root
> for "to curse". As further substantiation, compare
> with Malachi chapter 2, where W)RWTY and )RWTYH appear,
> and are obviously from "to curse", rather than
> "to gather fruit".
Different root, not applicable. Listed under "ARR".

> If this is the case, the only use we have of )RH is the
> one in Song of Songs, which matches "dripping liquid"
> at least as well, if not better, than "gathering fruit".
Looking at the uses of myrrh, there were many, among which were as an
ingredient in some foods, as a medicine taken both internally and
externally and as an aphrodisiac. It is in this context that
"nibbling" at myrrh fits the context.

> However, as I want to base an interesting conjecture on it,
> I certainly need more substantiation than a sole use.
> That is why I asked if anyone knows of cognates.
Others will have to give the cognates, however, cognates must be used
with care. Just because a word may have the same form in a cognate
language, does not mean that it has the same meaning. In fact, it can
have an opposite or otherwise unrelated meaning. Even in a later
edition of the same language, an earlier use of a word can be replaced
by a later loan word that has the same form but different meaning.
This is especially true if the earlier use was rare.

> Yaakov (J) Stein
Karl W. Randolph.

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