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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(שׁוּם , shum, so called from its odor; Sept. σκόροδον,Vulg. allium, A.V. "garlick") occurs only once in Scripture, and that in the plural, Numbers 11:5; where the Israelites are described as murmuring, among other things, for the leeks, the onions, and the garlic of Egypt. There can be no doubt of its being correctly so translated, as the same Arabic word (thum) still signifies a species of garlic which is cultivated and esteemed throughout Eastern countries .(Celsii Hiesrobot. 2:53). Ancient. authors mention that garlic was cultivated in Egypt (Pliny, 19:32). Herodotus (2:125) enumerates it as one of the subnstances upon which a large sum (1600 talents) was spent for feeding laborers employed is building the Pyramids, although Hasselquist expresses a doubt whether it was cultivated in that country (Trav. page 562). The species considered to have been thus referred to is Allium Ascalonicum, which is the most common in Eastern countries, and obtains its specific name from having been brought into Europe from Ascalon (see Jac. de Vitriaco, in the Gest. Frasncor. 3:1142). It is now usually known in the kitchen garden by the name of "eschalot" or "shallot." Its ranker congener is the common garlic (Allium sativunm). See the Penny Cyclopaedia, s.v. Allisum. Rosellini, however, thinks he has discovered it upon a painting in Beni Hassan. The Talmudists frequently mention the use of this plant among the Jews, and their fondness of it (Kilaim, 1:3; 6:10; Mdaser. 5:8; Terusn. 7:7; Nedar. 8:6, etc.). It formed a favorite viand with the common people among the Greeks and Romans (Pliny, 20:23; Plautus, Mostell. 1, 1:38; Horace, Ephesians 3:3; Suetonius, Vesp. 8). (See BOTANY).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Garlic'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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