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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Mandrakes

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man´drāks ( דּוּדאים , dūdhā'ı̄m ; μανδραγόπας , mandragóras ( Genesis 30:14 f; Song of Solomon 7:13 ); the marginal reading "love apples" is due to the supposed connection of dūdhā'ı̄m with דּודים , dōdhı̄m , "love"): Mandrakes are the fruit of the Mandragora officinarum , a member of the Solanaceae or potato order, closely allied to the Atropa belladonna . It is a common plant all over Palestine, flourishing particularly in the spring and ripening about the time of the wheat harvest (Genesis 30:14 ). The plant has a rosette of handsome dark leaves, dark purple flowers and orange, tomato-like fruit. The root is long and branched; to pull it up is still considered unlucky (compare Josephus, BJ , VII, vi, 3). The fruit is called in Arabic baiḍ el -jinn , the "eggs of the jinn"; they have a narcotic smell and sweetish taste, but are too poisonous to be used as food. They are still used in folklore medicine in Palestine. The plant was well known as an aphrodisiac by the ancients (Song of Solomon 7:13 ).


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Mandrakes'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/m/mandrakes.html. 1915.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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