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honey

  1. Hebrew: ya'ar, occurs only 1 Samuel 14:25, 27, 29; Song of Songs 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. Hebrew: Nopheth, honey that drops (Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 5:3; Song of Songs 4:11).

  3. Hebrew: Debash denotes bee-honey (Judges 14:8); but also frequently a vegetable honey distilled from trees (Genesis 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. Hebrew: Tsuph, the cells of the honey-comb full of honey (Proverbs 16:24; Psalms 19:10).

  5. “Wild honey” (Matthew 3:4) may have been the vegetable honey distilled from trees, but rather was honey stored by bees in rocks or in trees (Deuteronomy 32:13; Psalms 81:16; 1 Samuel 14:25-29).

Canaan was a “land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). Milk and honey were among the chief dainties in the earlier ages, as they are now among the Bedawin (Bedouin); and butter and honey are also mentioned among articles of food (Isaiah 7:15). The ancients used honey instead of sugar (Psalms 119:103; Proverbs 24:13); but when taken in great quantities it caused nausea, a fact referred to in Proverbs 25:16-17 to inculcate moderation in pleasures.

Honey and milk also are put for sweet discourse (Song of Songs 4:11).

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