[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 09:37:43 EDT 2007


On 10/16/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> 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.
> ...
> 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.
Go back in the archives where I have discussed this in greater detail,
also in connection with this same story: "riddle" in English has a
different meaning than XYDH in Hebrew. There was not necessarily the
expectation that a normal person could answer it.

> 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".
Samson expected that the Philistines could not figure it out, which is
why he gave such a high price for the bet.

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

> Yaakov (J) Stein

Karl W. Randolph.

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