Cumin in the Bible

also known as: Cummin

Hebrew: כַּמֹּן —transliteration: kammon

Greek: κύμινον —transliteration: kuminon

the fruit or seed of the Cumin plant (Cuminum cyminum), an umbelliferous flowering plant in the family Apiaceae

Cumin is still extensively cultivated in the East for use as a spice.

Its fruit is mentioned in Isaiah 28:25, 27.

In the New Testament, it is mentioned in Matthew 23:23, where our Lord pronounces a “woe” on the scribes and Pharisees, who were zealous in paying tithes of “mint and anise and cummin,” while they omitted the weightier matters of the law.

“It is used as a spice, both bruised, to mix with bread, and also boiled, in the various messes and stews which compose an Oriental banquet” —Henry Baker Tristram, The Natural History of the Bible.

Black Cumin

Hebrew: קֶצַח —transliteration: qetsach

An unrelated plant called Nigella sativa is sometimes called black cumin and also fitches. Its seeds are very black, and it is also called black caraway. It is of the Ranunculaceae family.

The seed of the Bunium bulbocastanum is also called black cumin or black caraway. Its seeds are very dark. This plant is in the family Apiaceae.

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Article Version: March 14, 2019