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milk

There are two biblical Hebrew words for milk.

  1. Hebrew: halabh, “new milk”, milk in its fresh state (Judges 4:19)

    It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Exodus 3:8; 13:5; Joshua 5:6; Isaiah 7:15, 22; Jeremiah 11:5). Sheep (Deuteronomy 32:14) and goats (Proverbs 27:27) and camels (Genesis 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 (Genesis 49:12; Ezek. 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Peter 2:2).

  2. Hebrew: hem'ah, always rendered “butter” in the King James 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 (Genesis 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Judges 5:25). In this state milk was used by travellers (2 Samuel 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 (Deuteronomy 32:14; Job 20:17).

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