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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: דוה
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Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

דוה

The verb דוה (dawa) is used only once, in Leviticus 12:2. It's usually translated with being ill or unwell, but the emphasis of this root-verb seems to be in a flowing of liquid. Its derivatives are:

  • The masculine verb דוי (deway), meaning languishing or illness (Psalm 41:3, Job 6:7 only).
  • The adjective דוה (daweh), meaning faint (Lamentations 1:13) or unwell, menstruous (Leviticus 15:33, Isaiah 30:22).
  • The masculine noun מדוה (madweh), meaning disease (Deuteronomy 7:15 and 28:60 only). Note that this noun is identical to the noun מדוה (madweh), meaning garment, from the root מדה (mdh)
  • The adjective דוי (dawway), meaning faint (Isaiah 1:5, Jeremiah 8:18 and Lamentations 1:22 only).
  • The masculine noun דיו (deyo), meaning ink, but this probably because of its fluidic nature rather than a connection to sickness.

It should be noted that the impurity of menstruating women may not be rooted in hygiene. Menstrual blood is not more or less unclean than blood coming out of any other wound, but in the Biblical mode of thought, menstruation is basically a woman's failure to conceive. The shedding of blood "which is among us" that the Lord will one day cause to stop (Ezekiel 22:13), may not only be a promise that we will stop killing each other, but that mankind will "conceive"; an event marked on the individual level by the cessation of menstruation.


Associated Biblical names

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