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חרם

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:05 pm
by Michael W Abernathy
I was reading Exodus 22:19 זֹבֵ֥חַ לָאֱלֹהִ֖ים יָֽחֳרָ֑ם בִּלְתִּ֥י לַיהוָ֖ה לְבַדֹּֽו׃ and I had a question about the meaning of חרם. The first meaning Halot gives for this word is "excommunicate." That struck me as odd because I don't think I have any translation of the Hebrew Bible that ever translates it as "excommunicate." BDB gives "excommunicate" as a translation for Aramaic texts but I don't see any example of this in the Bible either. Does anyone know what their rationale for including this definition?
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy

Re: חרם

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:58 pm
by kwrandolph
Michael:

I don’t know from where they got “excommunicate”.

Michael W Abernathy wrote:I was reading Exodus 22:19 זֹבֵ֥חַ לָאֱלֹהִ֖ים יָֽחֳרָ֑ם בִּלְתִּ֥י לַיהוָ֖ה לְבַדֹּֽו׃ and I had a question about the meaning of חרם. The first meaning Halot gives for this word is "excommunicate." That struck me as odd because I don't think I have any translation of the Hebrew Bible that ever translates it as "excommunicate." BDB gives "excommunicate" as a translation for Aramaic texts but I don't see any example of this in the Bible either. Does anyone know what their rationale for including this definition?
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy


When reading through Tanakh, I notice the following understanding of the term:


‎חרם to identify a person or object such that he is designated for special attention, e.g. consecrated to the Lord such that one can no longer make use of it for himself Ex 22:19, Lv 27:28, sentenced to destruction or condemned to death Nu 22:2, 3 ⇒ (physically) to (indicate by a) mark, as in to blemish, make imperfect → חרם marked ⇒ designated object or person to be consecrated Lv 27:28, Ez 44:29 or condemned to destruction Js 6:17, חרם marked such that blemished, disfigured, has imperfection


I don’t see from where “excommunication” comes.

Karl W. Randolph.

Re: חרם

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:54 pm
by Isaac Fried
The Hebrew root חרם is a variant of the roots
גרם הרם חרם כרם קרם
GRM, of which we have the GEREM, 'skeleton', of 2Ki. 9:13 and Job 40:18.
HRM, of which we have the HARMON, 'palace, harem', of Amos 4:3.
XRM, of which we have the XEREM, 'designated, set apart', of Lev. 27:28. Also the 'collecting net', of Ez.32:3.
KRM of which we have the KEREM, 'vineyard, garden', of Gen. 9:20.
QRM of which we have the act QARAM, 'pile up, cover', of Ez. 37:6.

Hence, XRM is 'compile, isolate, fence off, set apart, dedicate', and by implication 'excommunicate'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University