(Heb. hemah), curdled milk (Gen. 18:8; Judg. 5:25; 2 Sam.
17:29), or butter in the form of the skim of hot milk or cream,
called by the Arabs kaimak, a semi-fluid (Job 20:17; 29:6; Deut.
32:14). The words of Prov. 30:33 have been rendered by some "the
pressure [not churning] of milk bringeth forth cheese."
(1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Judg.
4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex.
3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut.
32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well
as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is
used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek.
25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of
doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated
word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized
Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or
perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which
Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave
to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by
travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a
slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general
(Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
(1.) Heb. ya'ar, occurs only 1 Sam. 14:25, 27, 29; Cant. 5:1,
where it denotes the honey of bees. Properly the word signifies
a forest or copse, and refers to honey found in woods.
(2.) Nopheth, honey that drops (Ps. 19:10; Prov. 5:3; Cant.
(3.) Debash denotes bee-honey (Judg. 14:8); but also
frequently a vegetable honey distilled from trees (Gen. 43:11;
Ezek. 27:17). In these passages it may probably mean "dibs," or
syrup of grapes, i.e., the juice of ripe grapes boiled down to
one-third of its bulk.
(4.) Tsuph, the cells of the honey-comb full of honey (Prov.
16:24; Ps. 19:10).
(5.) "Wild honey" (Matt. 3:4) may have been the vegetable
honey distilled from trees, but rather was honey stored by bees
in rocks or in trees (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16; 1 Sam. 14:25-29).
Canaan was a "land flowing with milk and honey" (Ex. 3:8).
Milk and honey were among the chief dainties in the earlier
ages, as they are now among the Bedawin; and butter and honey
are also mentioned among articles of food (Isa. 7:15). The
ancients used honey instead of sugar (Ps. 119:103; Prov. 24:13);
but when taken in great quantities it caused nausea, a fact
referred to in Prov. 25:16, 17 to inculcate moderation in
pleasures. Honey and milk also are put for sweet discourse
(Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra"). (1.) The captain of Jabin's
army (Judg. 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of
Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to
the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim.
Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent
hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled
milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage,
he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he
lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her
hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such
force through his temples that it entered into the ground where
he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed,
there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Judg.
5:24-27) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere
patriotic outburst," and "is no proof that purer eyes would have
failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel")
is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):
"Extolled above women be Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite,
Extolled above women in the tent.
He asked for water, she gave him milk;
She brought him cream in a lordly dish.
She stretched forth her hand to the nail,
Her right hand to the workman's hammer,
And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head,
She crashed through and transfixed his temples.
At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still;
At her feet he curled himself, he fell;
And where he curled himself, there he fell dead."
(2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with
Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55).
(1.) Heb. 'ez, the she-goat (Gen. 15:9; 30:35; 31:38). This
Hebrew word is also used for the he-goat (Ex. 12:5; Lev. 4:23;
Num. 28:15), and to denote a kid (Gen. 38:17, 20). Hence it may
be regarded as the generic name of the animal as domesticated.
It literally means "strength," and points to the superior
strength of the goat as compared with the sheep.
(2.) Heb. 'attud, only in plural; rendered "rams" (Gen.
31:10,12); he-goats (Num. 7:17-88; Isa. 1:11); goats (Deut.
32:14; Ps. 50:13). They were used in sacrifice (Ps. 66:15). This
word is used metaphorically for princes or chiefs in Isa. 14:9,
and in Zech. 10:3 as leaders. (Compare Jer. 50:8.)
(3.) Heb. gedi, properly a kid. Its flesh was a delicacy among
the Hebrews (Gen. 27:9, 14, 17; Judg. 6:19).
(4.) Heb. sa'ir, meaning the "shaggy," a hairy goat, a he-goat
(2 Chr. 29:23); "a goat" (Lev. 4:24); "satyr" (Isa. 13:21);
"devils" (Lev. 17:7). It is the goat of the sin-offering (Lev.
9:3, 15; 10:16).
(5.) Heb. tsaphir, a he-goat of the goats (2 Chr. 29:21). In
Dan. 8:5, 8 it is used as a symbol of the Macedonian empire.
(6.) Heb. tayish, a "striker" or "butter," rendered "he-goat"
(Gen. 30:35; 32:14).
(7.) Heb. 'azazel (q.v.), the "scapegoat" (Lev. 16:8, 10,26).
(8.) There are two Hebrew words used to denote the
undomesticated goat:, "Yael", only in plural mountain goats (1
Sam. 24:2; Job 39:1; Ps.104:18). It is derived from a word
meaning "to climb." It is the ibex, which abounded in the
mountainous parts of Moab. And "'akko", only in Deut. 14:5, the
Goats are mentioned in the New Testament in Matt. 25:32,33;
Heb. 9:12,13, 19; 10:4. They represent oppressors and wicked men
(Ezek. 34:17; 39:18; Matt. 25:33).
Several varieties of the goat were familiar to the Hebrews.
They had an important place in their rural economy on account of
the milk they afforded and the excellency of the flesh of the
kid. They formed an important part of pastoral wealth (Gen.
31:10, 12;32:14; 1 Sam. 25:2).
There are ten Hebrew words used in Scripture to signify locust.
In the New Testament locusts are mentioned as forming part of
the food of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6). By the
Mosaic law they were reckoned "clean," so that he could lawfully
eat them. The name also occurs in Rev. 9:3, 7, in allusion to
this Oriental devastating insect.
Locusts belong to the class of Orthoptera, i.e.,
straight-winged. They are of many species. The ordinary Syrian
locust resembles the grasshopper, but is larger and more
destructive. "The legs and thighs of these insects are so
powerful that they can leap to a height of two hundred times the
length of their bodies. When so raised they spread their wings
and fly so close together as to appear like one compact moving
mass." Locusts are prepared as food in various ways. Sometimes
they are pounded, and then mixed with flour and water, and baked
into cakes; "sometimes boiled, roasted, or stewed in butter, and
then eaten." They were eaten in a preserved state by the ancient
The devastations they make in Eastern lands are often very
appalling. The invasions of locusts are the heaviest calamites
that can befall a country. "Their numbers exceed computation:
the hebrews called them 'the countless,' and the Arabs knew them
as 'the darkeners of the sun.' Unable to guide their own flight,
though capable of crossing large spaces, they are at the mercy
of the wind, which bears them as blind instruments of Providence
to the doomed region given over to them for the time.
Innumerable as the drops of water or the sands of the seashore,
their flight obscures the sun and casts a thick shadow on the
earth (Ex. 10:15; Judg. 6:5; 7:12; Jer. 46:23; Joel 2:10). It
seems indeed as if a great aerial mountain, many miles in
breadth, were advancing with a slow, unresting progress. Woe to
the countries beneath them if the wind fall and let them alight!
They descend unnumbered as flakes of snow and hide the ground.
It may be 'like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them
is a desolate wilderness. At their approach the people are in
anguish; all faces lose their colour' (Joel 2:6). No walls can
stop them; no ditches arrest them; fires kindled in their path
are forthwith extinguished by the myriads of their dead, and the
countless armies march on (Joel 2:8, 9). If a door or a window
be open, they enter and destroy everything of wood in the house.
Every terrace, court, and inner chamber is filled with them in a
moment. Such an awful visitation swept over Egypt (Ex. 10:1-19),
consuming before it every green thing, and stripping the trees,
till the land was bared of all signs of vegetation. A strong
north-west wind from the Mediterranean swept the locusts into
the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours, etc., ii., 149.