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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

White of an Egg

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is the rendering adopted in the A.V. at Job 6:6 for the Heb. רַיר חִלָּמוּת ', rir challamuth (Sept. ἐν ῥήμασιν κενοῖς [v.r.καινοῖς], Vulg. quod gustatum offert mortem). Most interpreters derive the Hebrew word from חָלִם, chalam, to dream, and, guided by the context, explain it to denote somnolency, fiatuity (comp. Ecclesiastes 5:2; Ecclesiastes 5:9), and so insipidity (comp. μωρςό in Dioscorides, spoken of tasteless roots). The Syriac renders it by chalamta, which signifies portulacca or purslain, an herb formerly eaten as a salad, but proverbial for its insipidity ("portulacca stultior," in Meidan. Proverb. No. 344, page 219, ed. 'Schultens). The phrase will thus mean purslain-broth, i.e., silly discourse. (See MALLOWS). The rabbins, following the Targums, regard it as i.q. Chald. חֶלְמוֹן, the coagultum of an egg or curd; and so explain the phrase, as the A.V., to mean the slime or white of an egg, put as an emblem of insipidity. This in itself is not ill; but the other seems more consonant with Oriental usage. See Gesenius, Thesaur. page 480.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'White of an Egg'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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