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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Hebrew word: קלל

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Dictionary/q/q-l-l.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary

קלל

There is one root-verb קלל (qalal) in the Bible and two of the adjacent form קלה (qala). One of these two verbs קלה (qala) obviously resembles קלל (qalal) in meaning:


קלל

The root-verb קלל (qalal) basically means to be light (of abating water: Genesis 8:8), and as such came to denote to be swift (of soldiers and horses: 2 Samuel 1:23, Jeremiah 4:13) and to be trifling, i.e. to be of little account (of Hagar's attitude to Sarah: Genesis 16:4; of Job compared to God: Job 40:4).

This verb's derivatives are:

  • The adjective קל (qal), meaning light or swift (Isaiah 18:2, Jeremiah 2:23, Amos 2:15).
  • The masculine noun קל (qol), meaning lightness or frivolity. This noun occurs in Jeremiah 3:9 only, but some scholars believe that in this case our word קל (qol) is really the noun קול (qol), meaning voice.
  • The adjective קלל (qalal), possibly meaning burnished or polished. It occurs only in Ezekiel 1:7 and Daniel 10:6, and in both cases it describes an attribute of bronze-like elements of angels. Scholars assume that our word קלל (qalal) may denote the rapid rubbing associated with polishing, but perhaps these angelic beings were moving rapidly, or else, these elements appeared not as massive hunks of clunky steel but rather as feather-light leafs. We don't know.
  • The feminine noun קללה (qelala), is generally translated with curse, but it literally denotes "a making light," which is the opposite of the verb כבד (kabed), meaning to make heavy," that is to bestow glory and honor upon someone. Our noun occurs all over the Bible (Genesis 27:13, Proverbs 26:2, Zechariah 8:13).
  • The adjective קלקל (qeloqel), meaning contemptible or worthless (Numbers 21:5 only).
  • The masculine noun קיקלון (qiqalon), meaning disgrace (Habakkuk 2;16 only).

קלה I

The root-verb קלה (qala I) means to roast, parch or burn. It occurs all over the Semitic language spectrum but in the Bible a mere four times: Leviticus 2:14, Joshua 5:11, Psalm 38:7 and Jeremiah 29:22.

Its sole derivative is the masculine noun קלי (qali), denoting parched grain, which was a common food in Biblical times (Leviticus 23:14, Ruth 2:14, 1 Samuel 25:18). In 1 Samuel 17:17 occurs a variant spelling with a prosthetic א (aleph): קליא (qali').

קלה II

The root-verb קלה (qala II) means to be lightly esteemed or dishonored and appears to be closely related to (or even a variant form of, says BDB Theological Dictionary) the verb קלל (qalal) meaning to be light or made light (= dishonored). It occurs about half a dozen times in the Bible (Deuteronomy 27:16, Proverbs 12:9, Isaiah 16:14).

This verb yields one derivative, namely the masculine noun קלון (qalon), meaning shame or dishonor (Psalm 83:17, Isaiah 22:18, Hosea 4:7).


Associated Biblical names