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English Bible Dictionary

Leeks

 

(Heb. chatsir). The leek was a bulbous vegetable resembling the onion. Its botanical name is Allium porrum. The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the leeks and onions of Egypt, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. (Numbers 11:5) The word chatsir, which in (Numbers 11:5) is translated leeks, occurs twenty times in the Hebrew text. The Hebrew term, which properly denotes grass, is derived from a root signifying "to be green," and may therefore stand in this passage for any green food--lettuce, endive, etc.; it would thus be applied somewhat in the same manner as we use the term "greens;" yet as the chatsir is mentioned together with onions and garlic in the text, and as the most ancient versions unanimously understand leeks by the Hebrew word, we may be satisfied with our own translation.

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