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hemlock Summary and Overview

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hemlock in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(1.) Heb. rosh (Hos. 10:4; rendered "gall" in Deut. 29:18; 32:32; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; "poison," Job 20:16; "venom," Deut. 32:33). "Rosh is the name of some poisonous plant which grows quickly and luxuriantly; of a bitter taste, and therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Lam. 3:19). Hence it would seem to be not the hemlock cicuta, nor the colocynth or wild gourd, nor lolium darnel, but the poppy so called from its heads" (Gesenius, Lex.). (2.) Heb. la'anah, generally rendered "wormwood" (q.v.), Deut. 29:18, Text 17; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15. Once it is rendered "hemlock" (Amos 6:12; R.V., "wormwood"). This Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to curse," hence the accursed.

hemlock in Smith's Bible Dictionary

the common ground or dwarf hemlock, a bitter, poisonous plant. The Hebrew rosh is rendered "hemlock" in two passages, #Ho 10:4; Am 6:12| but elsewhere "gall." [GALL] (It is possible that the plant is rather the poppy than an hemlock. --Cook.)

hemlock in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

HEM'LOCK , Hos 10:4. A well-known bitter and poisonous herb, a species of which is common in the United States. The word rendered "hemlock" in the above passage and in Am 6:12 is elsewhere rendered "gall." The figurative use of it is explained by comparing the above passage with Deut 29:18; Am 5:7; Heb 12:15. The evils of perverted judgment resemble the springing up of useless and poisonous plants where we look for and expect valuable and nutritious vegetation.

hemlock in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

So Celsius and the learned Ben Melech explain rosh (Hosea 10:4; Amos 6:12). (See GALL.) Gesenius explains, from the etymology, "poppy heads." Possibly many plants of bitter juice are meant. Rosh grew in grainfields rankly, and bore a berry or fruit. Deuteronomy 29:18; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:19. Not necessarily poisonous.