(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. ( 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.
leks (chatsir; ta prasa):
This word, elsewhere translated "grass," is in Numbers 11:5 rendered "leeks" in all the ancient VSS, on account of its association with garlic and onions; such a use of the word occurs in the Talmud The leek (Allium porrum) is much grown today in Palestine, while in ancient Egypt this vegetable was renowned.
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