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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #1104 - בָּלַע
1) to swallow down, swallow up, engulf, eat up
1a1) to swallow down
1a2) to swallow up, engulf
1b) (Niphal) to be swallowed up
1c1) to swallow
1c2) to swallow up, engulf
1c3) squandering (figuratively)
1d) (Pual) to be swallowed up
1e) (Hithpael) to be ended
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
בָּלַע fut. יִבְלַע
(1) to swallow down, to devour [“with the idea of eagerness, greediness”]. (Arab. بَلِحَ and quadril. بَلْعَمَ id., Eth. በልዐ፡ to eat, to eat up. Kindred roots are לוּעַ, ܠܥܰܒ and many others beginning with לע.) Used of men eating greedily, Isaiah 28:4 of beasts, Exodus 7:12; Jonah 2:1; Jeremiah 51:34; Genesis 41:7, 24 Genesis 41:24. A proverbial phrase, Job 7:19, “thou wilt not let me alone עַד־בּלְעִי רֻקִּי while I swallow down my spittle,” i.e. thou givest me no breathing space, not even the least moment wilt thou grant me, that I may rest. (So in Arabic أَبْلِْعنِى ريقى “let me swallow down my spittle,” i.e. give me so much delay that I may swallow it down. Har. xv. p. 142 Sacy. See more in Schult. on Job loc. cit. So in Persic آجخور swallowing of spittle, used of delay. Compare Piel No. 1.)
(a) to consume, to destroy, so however that the figure of devouring is preserved, e.g. to devour riches, Job 20:15 (comp. devoratam pecuniam evomere, Cic. Pis. 37). Proverbs 1:12, “let us devour them, like Hades, alive,” i.e. let us consume, kill them; Psalms 124:3. Compare אָבַל No. 1, g.
(b) It is applied to inanimate things, to a chasm of the earth, Numbers 16:30, seq.; of the sea, Psalms 69:16, compare Exodus 15:12.
Niphal, pass. Piel No. 2, to be destroyed, lost, Hosea 8:8, specially used of drunkards. Isaiah 28:7, נִבְלְעוּ מִן הַיַּיִן “they are destroyed with wine,” i.e. oppressed, broken down, overcome with wine. Compare הָלַם, רוּן, עָבַר. The Syriac translator retains the word ܐܶܬܒܠܰܥܘ ܡܶܢ ܚܰܡܪܳܐ. The Arabs use, in the same phrase, the verb بلخ.
(1) i.q. Kal, to swallow down. Once ellipt. Numbers 4:20, “neither shall they come in to see the holy things בְּבַלַּע while it is swallowed down,” sc. saliva, i.e. not for the least moment of time. Compare Kal No. 1. Excellently, LXX. ἐξάπινα. Metaph. בִּלַּע אָוֶן “to devour wickedness,” i.e. to fill oneself altogether with wickedness, Proverbs 19:28 (comp. שָׁתָה Job 15:16).
(2) to destroy, specially
(a) to give up to destruction, Job 2:3, 10:8 Isaiah 49:19; Habakkuk 1:13.
(b) to extirpate, to take away altogether, Psalms 21:10, 35:25 followed by מִן Job 8:18.
(c) to lay waste a country, 2 Samuel 20:19, 20 2 Samuel 20:20; Lamentations 2:8 also, to waste riches, Proverbs 21:20 to destroy, i.e. to frustrate counsel, Isaiah 19:3 comp. Psalms 55:10 any one’s way, i.e. to cause him to go to destruction, Isaiah 3:12.
Pual, pass. Piel No. 2, to be destroyed, to perish. Isaiah 9:15, “destruction is prepared;” followed by לְ 2 Samuel 17:16.
Hithpael, id. Psalms 107:27.
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