מרר MRR Ex. 1:14, 12:8

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Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

מרר MRR Ex. 1:14, 12:8

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:32 pm

In Ex. 1:13-14 we read
וַיַּעֲבִדוּ מִצְרַיִם אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּפָרֶךְ וַיְמָרְרוּ אֶת חַיֵּיהֶם בַּעֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה
Niv: "and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labor"
KJV: "And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage"
וַיְמָרְרוּ = בא-היא-מרר-הוּא is from the root מרר MRR comprising of the unilitteral root מ M of 'massivity', and the repeated uniliteral root ר R of 'aggregation'. Obviously, a Hebrew root is not made to directly express such an abstract notion as 'bitter' of taste, only by implication and a reference to a known substance.
The root מרר MRR is kindred to the roots
ארר, ברר, גרר, דרר, הרר, זרר, חרר, כרר, מרר, סרר, ערר, פרר, צרר, קרר, שרר
and then also to
ברבר, גרגר, דרדר, הרהר, זרזר, חרחר, כרכר, מרמר, סרסר, ערער, פרפר, צרצר, קרקר, שרשר
I tend to think that וַיְמָרְרוּ is rather realistically 'rattle, worry, irritate', in analogy with בְּפָרֶךְ of the root פרך PRK, a variant of פרק PRQ, 'remove, separate, take apart, breakdown'.
In Ex. 12:8 we read
וְאָכְלוּ אֶת הַבָּשָׂר בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה צְלִי אֵשׁ וּמַצּוֹת עַל מְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ
KJV: "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it."
Here, possibly, מְרֹרִים = מרור-הם is from מָרוֹר = מה-רוֹר MAROR, with רוֹר ROR being but a slight variant (הוּא for היא) of רִיר RIYR, 'sap, saliva, secretion', as in 1Samuel 21:14(13)
וַיּוֹרֶד רִירוֹ אֶל-זְקָנוֹ
KJV: "and let his spittle fall down upon his beard"

Use of the plural in מְרֹרִים also suggests something diced.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: מרר MRR Ex. 1:14, 12:8

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:09 am

The root פרך is a member, in good standing, of the root family
ברג, ברח, ברך, ברק
פרג, פרח, פרך, פרק

of which we have (some say by way of India) the post biblical פֶּרֶג PEREG, 'poppy seed'.
Also the later בֹּרֶג BOREG, 'screw', to wit, a mechanical connector that may be removed by turning, namely, a kind of a פֹּרֶק POREQ.
פְּרָקִים PRAQIYM are now either 'chapters' or 'joints', Indeed דלקת פרקים DALEQET PRAQIYM is 'inflammation of the joints'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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