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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Garlic occurs only once in Scripture, and that in the passage () in which the Israelites are described as murmuring, among other things, for the leeks, the onions, and the garlic (shumim) of Egypt. There can be no doubt of its being correctly so translated, as the corresponding Arabic word still signifies a species of garlic, which is cultivated and esteemed throughout Eastern countries. Ancient authors mention that garlic was cultivated in Egypt and highly esteemed there. Herodotus enumerates it as one of the substances upon which a large sum (1600 talents) was spent for feeding laborers employed in building the Pyramids. The species considered to have been thus cultivated in Egypt, is Allium Ascalonicum, which is the most common in Eastern countries, and obtains its specific name from having been brought into Europe from Ascalon. It is now usually known in the kitchen garden by the name of 'eschalot' or 'shallot,' and is too common to require a fuller notice.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Garlic'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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