לֶחֶם LEXEM, Ex. 18:12

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Isaac Fried
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לֶחֶם LEXEM, Ex. 18:12

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:12 pm

We read there
וַיָּבֹא אַהֲרֹן וְכֹל זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֶאֱכָל לֶחֶם עִם חֹתֵן מֹשֶׁה לִפְנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים
KJV: "and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God."

The point to make here is that לֶחֶם LEXEM, "bread, solid food', has nothing to do with מִלְחָמָה MI-LXAM-AH, 'fight, war, combat, struggle'. The often heard explanation for the common root that war was originally over food, is, in my opinion, absurd. The root לחם LXM means 'amass, adhere, coalesce', as indeed do combatants in a close fight.
In present day Hebrew הלחמה = ה-לחמ-ה HA-LXAM-AH is 'welding'.

The same is true of אבק ABAQ, 'dust', as in Deut. 28:24
יִתֵּן יְהֹוָה אֶת מְטַר אַרְצְךָ אָבָק וְעָפָר מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם
KJV: "The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust"
and מאבק MA-ABAQ, 'struggle, wrestle', as in Gen. 32:25(24)
וַיִּוָּתֵר יַעֲקֹב לְבַדּוֹ וַיֵּאָבֵק אִישׁ עִמּוֹ עַד עֲלוֹת הַשָּׁחַר
KJV: "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."
It is certainly not that wrestling is a dusty affair.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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