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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #916 - בְּדֹלַח
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
בְּדֹלַח some precious article of merchandize, mentioned in Genesis 2:12, amongst gold and precious stones; the Arabian manna is compared to this (Numbers 11:7), which latter consists of white grains and scales, and is elsewhere compared to hoar frost (see Exodus 16:14 Nu. loc. cit.); however, according to Burckhardt (Travels in Syria (599), p. 954 Germ. trans.), the colour is yellowish. [It is utterly futile to suppose the manna of Scripture is any thing now to be found; the manna was like בְּדֹלַח, which was round like coriander seed, and not like scales or grains.] Of the ancient interpreters, Aqu., Symm., Theod., Vulg., Josephus (Archaeol. iii. 1, § 6), understand βδέλλιον, bdellium, which is the gum of a tree growing in Arabia, India, and Babylonia. It is whitish, resinous and pellucid, nearly the colour of frankincense; when broken it appears the colour of wax, with grains like frankincense, but larger. Plin. N. H. xii. 9, s. 19. Its various names accord with this, μάδελκον, βδολχόν (which however rests upon conjecture, see Dios.i.71 al. 80), βδέλλα,βδέλλιον: on the other hand bdellium is not such a precious natural production as to be mentioned between gold and precious stones, and that the land of Havilah should be celebrated for producing it. On this account the opinion of the Jews is not to be rejected, which has been learnedly supported by Bochart (Hieroz. ii. 674-683), that pearls are to be understood, of which a very large quantity are fished up in the Persian gulf and in India, and with these it would not be unsuitable to compare the grains of manna. Bochart gives also the etymology, quadril. בְּדֹלַח from the root בָּדַל, as signifying an excellent, selected pearl. Compare Arab. فَِريدُ a pearl, from the root فرد i.q. בָּדַל.
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