Biblical Natural Science

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William Mackenzie, May 14, 2012 - 226 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1863 Excerpt: ...fancied resemblance between the two. Nor am I at all surprised at it, for the Arabs give the most quaint, obscure, and ridiculous names to their extraordinary edible mixtures. I would, therefore, not translate at all, but let the passage read thus, 'A fourth part of a cab of khir yonim for five pieces of silver;' and be content with that, until we know what khir yonim really is." Bochart early gave prominence to the supposition that the article was a kind of pulse. "And indeed," says Shaw (i. 257), "as the cicer is pointed at one end, and acquires an ash colour in parching, the first of which circumstances answers to the figure, the other to the usual colour of pigeons' dung, the supposition is by no means to be disregarded." The cicer referred to by Shaw is evidently the chick-pea (Cicer arietinum), which is much cultivated in the Levant, and has ever been used as a common article of food in the East. Lady Callcott pleads ably for the root of the common star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalim uvibellatum) as the representative of the famine diet in Samaria, having evidently been drawn to it by the generic name which signifies birds' milk. "The bulbous root," she says, " of the ornithogalum has in all times been used as an esculent vegetable in Syria and the neighbouring countries. Dioscorides says that it was sometimes dried, pulverized, and mixed with bread-flour; and that it was also eaten, both raw and roasted. He remarks further, that of thirty-six known species, one bearing a yellow flower yielded the most agreeable food The plains and valleys about Samaria abound in this pretty flower; and the dearth of its roots, during the siege of the city of the Syrians under Benhadad, was a token of famine beyond endurance." ...

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