What is…

Hebrew: דָּגָן —transliteration: dagan

Meaning: grain

The word “corn” does not appear in the New King James Version or the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Corn, as we today know it, is a highly bred grain developed from maize. It was first domesticated by ancient people in what is now called Central America (possibly in southern Mexico’s Tehuacan Valley) and is not known to have existed outside of the America’s until after Christopher Columbus and other Europeans came.

The word “corn” does appear over a hundred times in the King James Version, because in old English it had a different meaning. At the time the King James Bible was translated, the word “corn” meant grain of any type. The English word “corn” came from the German and Old Norse word korn (meaning grain).

The King Jamesb Version translates the Hebrew word dagan (grain) as “corn” in Genesis 27:28, 37; Numbers 18:27; Deuteronomy 28:51; and Lam. 2:12. Dagan is a general term representing all the types of seeds, kernels and grains, including wheat, barley, spelt, peas, beans and other seeds. With this corresponds the translation of the Greek word κόκκος [transliteration: kokkos —meaning: grain] in John 12:24:

KJV: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

NASB: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

In Genesis 41:35, 49; Proverbs 11:26; Joel 2:24 (“wheat”), the word thus translated (bar; i.e., “winnowed”) means grain separated from chaff. With this corresponds the use of the word in the New Testament (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17; Acts 7:12). In Psalm 65:13 it means “growing grain.”

In Genesis 42:1-2, 19; Joshua 9:14; Neh. 10:31 (KJV: “victuals”), the word (sheber; i.e., “broken,” i.e., grist) denotes generally food provisions, and grain as a principal article of food.

From the time of Solomon, grain began to be exported from Israel (Ezek. 27:17; Amos 8:5).

“Plenty of grain” was a part of Issac’s blessing conferred upon Jacob ( Genesis 27:28; compare Psalm 65:13).

Ancient Israel exported grain to the island of Tyre, among other places (Ezekiel 27:17).

Article Version: March 12, 2018

More information