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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: αιμα

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/a/a-i-m-a.html

αιμα

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

αιμα

The noun αιμα (haima) means blood (hence English words like leukemia, literally bright-blooded). It's not clear where this word comes from and most suggestions made by scholars don't really satisfy — proposed relations to other Greek words and Proto-Indo-European roots suggests that the Greeks saw blood merely as "thick liquid" or a substance that "satiated" flesh, but that says more about how we moderns see blood than the Greeks.

In our article on the Hebrew word אזוב ('ezob) meaning soap, we argue that the Hebrew word דמ (dam), meaning blood, pretty much covered all bodily liquids and in particular the natural soap that forms from physical trauma. That would explain why people could wash their robes in "blood" and have them back sparkly white (Revelation 7:14).

The signature red color of blood is the first color a child learns to see. In fact, color vision in general starts with red, which in evolutionary terms was probably favored because the red of juicy fruits has the same grey scale as the green of the leaves they sit in, and being able to see the difference between bright red and bright green yields a significant benefit from seeing only grey tones. Humanity's rise to success probably went hand in hand with color vision, and the color red assumed meanings such as "beginning" (hence words such as rude and rudimentary) but also that of peace, tranquility and finally royalty.

From the effect of losing blood people could observe that the uncompromised containment of blood gave folks life and a healthy color, and rightly concluded that what blood is to the body so texts are to society. Blood is mostly a watery plasma in which red blood cells carry nutrients and oxygen and white blood cells prowl around for alien invaders, and a society's library is likewise mostly a collective of familiar words that carry essential informations — especially in times when literature was still highly sophisticated information technology; see our articles on the noun ονομα, onoma, meaning name or noun, and the verb γραφω, grapho, meaning to write).

Like blood, literature contained nutrients for society, kept society together and helped to remove unwanted elements. The "blood of the lamb" in which folks washed their robes is probably a reference to "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" that are hidden within Christ (Colossians 2:3, also see Revelation 18:24).

Our noun αιμα (haima), meaning blood is used 99 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derive:

  • Together with the verb εκχεω (ekcheo), meaning to pour out: the noun αιματεκχυσια (haimatekchusia), meaning a blood-pouring. This word occurs in Hebrews 9:22 only, and despite many a complicated commentary, this noun probably simply refers to a lavish application of natural soap and a good scrub.
  • Together with the verb ρεω (rheo), meaning to flow (of water, or a lot of words): the verb αιμορροεω (haimorroeo), meaning to flow blood (hence our English word hemorrhage). This word occurs only in Matthew 9:20, in the majestically composed story of Jesus who on his way to restore the deceased twelve-year old daughter of Jairus (according to Mark's more elaborate version) heals the woman who has had blood-flow for the same twelve years. All this is an obvious commentary on the state of affairs and purposes of the templar complex.