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  1. 1

    Itai Tzur

    Hebrew is my mother language and you are absolutely right – this verse refers to witches. In fact, this is the first time I have heard of this “poisoners” idea, which anyone who knows some Hebrew can see how ridiculous it is. The word mkhashefa (mkha-she-FA) appearing in Exodus 22:18 does mean “witch” (particularly female witch) and does come from “kashaf” (ka-SHAF) which means “sorcerer”. BTW, I don’t know where “suffer” came from. A literal translation would be, “Thou shalt not ALLOW a witch to live.”
    The word vlamkhashfim (vlam-khash-FIM) appearing in Exodus 7:11 does mean “and to the sorcerers” and comes from the same root “kashaf”.
    The word kashafeikhem (ka-sha-fey-KHEM) appearing in Jeremiah 27:9 does mean “your sorcerers” and comes from the same root “kashaf”.
    The word kshafaikh (ksha-FA-yikh) appearing in Isaiah 47:12 does mean “thy sorceries” (addressing a female) and comes from the root “keshef” (KE-shef) meaning “sorcery”.
    The word vkhishef (vkhi-SHEF) appearing in 2 Chronicles 33:6 does mean “and used witchcraft” and comes from the same root “keshef”.

    The Hebrew word for the noun “poison” is “raal” (RA-al) and for “venom” is “eres” (E-res) so clearly there is not the slightest similarity to “kashaf”.

    BTW, the subject verse appears in the Hebrew bible in Exodus 22:17, not Exodus 22:18. This is because the first verse of Exodus 22 in KJB is actually the last verse of Exodus 21 in the Hebrew bible. Seems like it “drifted” to the following chapter during translation. No idea why.

    Lastly, I would also like to direct your attention to the following:
    Deuteronomy 18:10 ends with the word “wumkhashef” (wum-kha-SHEF) meaning “and a witch” and coming from the same root.
    Daniel 2:2 contains exactly the same word as in Exodus 7:11 coming from exactly the same root.
    Malachi 3:5 contains the word “bamkhashfim” (bam-khash-FIM) meaning “against the sorcerers” (literally “in the sorcerers” but with the same meaning) and coming from the same root.

    There are probably more such occurrences, but it’s late at night and I’m tired of looking.
    So g’night y’all!


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