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milk

There are two biblical Hebrew words for milk.

  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; Hebrews 5:12-13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).

  2. Hebrew: 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).

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