"Pill" (Genesis 30:37,38; Tobit 11:13 (the Revised Version (British and American) "scaled")) and "peel" (Isaiah 18:2,7 (the King James Version and the Revised Version margin); Ezekiel 29:18 (the King James Version and the English Revised Version)) are properly two different words, meaning "to remove the hair" (pilus) and "to remove the skin" (pellis), but in Elizabethan English the two were confused. In Isaiah 18:2,7, the former meaning is implied, as the Hebrew word here (marat) is rendered "pluck off the hair" in Ezra 9:3; Nehemiah 13:25; Isaiah 50:6. The word, however, may also mean "make smooth" (so the Revised Version margin) or "bronzed." This last, referring to the dark skins of the Ethiopians, is best here, but in any case the King James Version and the Revised Version margin are impossible. In the other cases, however, "remove the skin" (compare "scaled," Tobit 11:13 the Revised Version (British and American)) is meant. So in Genesis 30:37,38, Jacob "peels" (so the Revised Version (British and American)) off portions of the bark of his rods, so as to give alternating colors (compare 30:39). And in Ezekiel 29:18, the point is Nebuchadrezzar's total failure in his siege of Tyre, although the soldiers had carried burdens until the skin was peeled from their shoulders (compare the American Standard Revised Version "worn").
Burton Scott Easton
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