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Dictionaries :: Honey

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


(1.) Heb. ya'ar, occurs only 1Sa 14:25, 27, 29; Sgs 5:1, where it denotes the honey of bees. Properly the word signifies a forest or copse, and refers to honey found in woods.

(2.) Nopheth, honey that drops (Psa 19:10; Pro 5:3; Sgs 4:11).

(3.) Debash denotes bee-honey (Jdg 14:8); but also frequently a vegetable honey distilled from trees (Gen 43:11; Eze 27:17). In these passages it may probably mean "dibs," or syrup of grapes, i.e., the juice of ripe grapes boiled down to one-third of its bulk.

(4.) Tsuph, the cells of the honey-comb full of honey (Pro 16:24; Psa 19:10).

(5.) "Wild honey" (Mat 3:4) may have been the vegetable honey distilled from trees, but rather was honey stored by bees in rocks or in trees (Deu 32:13; Psa 81:16; 1Sa 14:25-29).

Canaan was a "land flowing with milk and honey" (Exd 3:8). Milk and honey were among the chief dainties in the earlier ages, as they are now among the Bedawin; and butter and honey are also mentioned among articles of food (Isa 7:15). The ancients used honey instead of sugar (Psa 119:103; Pro 24:13); but when taken in great quantities it caused nausea, a fact referred to in Pro 25:16, 17 to inculcate moderation in pleasures. Honey and milk also are put for sweet discourse (Sgs 4:11).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


hun'-i (debhash; meli): One familiar with life in Palestine will recognize in debhash the Arabic dibs, which is the usual term for a sweet syrup made by boiling down the juice of grapes, raisins, carob beans, or dates. Dibs is seldom, if ever, used as a name for honey (compare Arabic ‘asal), whereas in the Old Testament debhash probably had only that meaning. The honey referred to was in most cases wild honey (De 32:13; Jud 14:8,9; 1Sa 14:25,26,29,43), although the offering of honey with the first-fruits would seem to indicate that the bees were also domesticated (2Ch 31:5). The bees constructed their honeycomb and deposited their honey in holes in the ground (1Sa 14:25); under rocks or in crevices between the rocks (De 32:13; Ps 81:16). They do the same today. When domesticated they are kept in cylindrical basket hives which are plastered on the outside with mud. The Syrian bee is an especially hardy type and a good honey producer. It is carried to Europe and America for breeding purposes.

In Old Testament times, as at present, honey was rare enough to be considered a luxury (Ge 43:11; 1Ki 14:3). Honey was used in baking sweets (Ex 16:31). It was forbidden to be offered with the meal offering (Le 2:11), perhaps because it was fermentable, but was presented with the fruit offering (2Ch 31:5). Honey was offered to David's army (2Sa 17:29). It was sometimes stored in the fields (Jer 41:8). It was also exchanged as merchandise (Eze 27:17). In New Testament times wild honey was an article of food among the lowly (Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6).

Figurative: "A land flowing with milk and honey" suggested a land filled with abundance of good things (Ex 3:8,17; Le 20:24; Nu 13:27; De 6:3; Jos 5:6; Jer 11:5; Eze 20:6,15). "A land of olive trees and honey" had the same meaning (De 8:8; 2Ki 18:32), and similarly "streams of honey and butter" (Job 20:17). Honey was a standard of sweetness (So 4:11; Eze 3:3; Re 10:9,10). It typified sumptuous fare (So 5:1; Isa 7:15,22; Eze 16:13,19). The ordinances of Yahweh were "sweeter than honey and the droppings of the honeycomb" (Ps 19:10; 119:103). "Thou didst eat.... honey" (Eze 16:13) expressed Yahweh's goodness to Jerusalem.

Written by James A. Patch

Torrey's New Topical Textbook

Honey: God the Giver Of

Psa 81:16; Eze 16:19

Honey: Gathered and Prepared by Bees

Jdg 14:8

Honey: Found In


Deu 32:13; Psa 81:16


1Sa 14:25,26; Jer 41:8

Carcases of dead animals

Jdg 14:8

Honey: Sweetness Of

Jdg 14:18

Honey: In the Honeycomb Sweetest and Most Valuable

Pro 16:24; 24:13

Honey: Abounded In


Num 16:13


2Ki 18:32


Exd 3:8; Lev 20:24; Deu 8:8

Honey: Esteemed a Wholesome Food

Pro 24:13

Honey: Moderation Needful in the Use Of

Pro 25:16,27

Honey: Loathed by Those Who Are Full

Pro 27:7

Honey: Was Eaten


1Sa 14:25,26,29

With the honeycomb

Sgs 5:1; Luk 24:42

With milk

Sgs 4:11

With butter

Isa 7:15,22

With locusts

Mat 3:4; Mar 1:6

Mixed with flour

Exd 16:31; Eze 16:13

Honey: Not to Be Offered with Any Sacrifice

Lev 2:11

Honey: First Fruits Of, Offered to God

2Ch 31:5

Honey: Often Sent as a Present

Gen 43:11; 1Ki 14:3

Honey: Exported from Canaan

Eze 27:17

Honey: Illustrative Of

The word of God

Psa 19:10; 119:103


Pro 24:13,14

Holy speech of saints

Sgs 4:11

Pleasant words

Pro 16:24

Lips of a strange woman

Pro 5:3

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g3192 Greek: meli


occurs with the adjective agrios, "wild," in Mat 3:4; Mar 1:6; in Rev 10:9, 10, as an example of sweetness. As "honey" is liable to ferment, it was precluded from offerings to God, Lev 2:11. The liquid "honey" mentioned in Psa 19:10; Pro 16:24 is regarded as the best; a cruse of it was part of the present brought to Ahijah by Jeroboam's wife, 1Ki 14:3.

Smith's Bible Dictionary


The Hebrew debash in the first place applied to the product of the bee, to which exclusively we give the name of honey. All travelers agree in describing Palestine as a land "flowing with milk and honey," (Exodus 3:8) bees being abundant even in the remote parts of the wilderness, where they deposit their honey in the crevices of rocks or in hollow trees. In some parts of northern Arabia the hills are so well stocked with bees that no sooner are hives placed than they are occupied. In the second place the term debash applies to a decoction of the juice of the grape, which is still called dibs, and which forms an article of commerce in the East, it was this, and not ordinary bee‐honey, which Jacob sent to Joseph (Genesis 43:11) and which the Tyrians purchased from Palestine (Ezekiel 27:17). A third kind has been described by some writers as a "vegetable" honey, by which is meant the exudations of certain trees and shrubs, such as the Tamarix mannifera, found in the peninsula of Sinai, or the stunted oaks of Luristan and Mesopotamia. The honey which Jonathan ate in the wood (1 Samuel 14:25) and the "wild honey" which supported John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4) have been referred to this species. But it was probably the honey of wild bees.


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