bra (nahaq, "to bray," of the ass; kathash, "to pound in a mortar"):
This word occurs with two distinct meanings:
- The harsh cry of the ass (Job 6:5). Job argued that as the sounds instinctively uttered by animals denote their wants, even so his Words were but the natural expression of his longing for some adequate explanation of his sufferings, or, failing this, for death itself. Used figuratively of Job's mockers (Job 30:7).
- "To beat small in a mortar," "to chastise." Proverbs 27:22 refers to a more elaborate process than threshing for separating grain (the English Revised Version "corn") from its husk and impurities; used figuratively of a thorough but useless course of discipline; or still more probably with reference to the Syrian custom of braying meat and bruised corn together in a mortar with a pestle, "till the meat and grain become a uniform indistinguishable pulp" (see The Expositor Times, VIII, 521).
M. O. Evans
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