(only in the plur. דּוּדָאַים, dudaïm´, from דּוּד, to be hot, from their amatory properties; whence the sing. דּוּדִי, a pot or boiling vessel, hence a basket, Jer 24:1) occurs in Ge 30:14-16: "Reuben went out in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them home to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me of thy son's mandrakes;" "And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me, for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes; and he lay with her that night." The only other passage is Song 7:13: "The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant plants." From the above passages it is evident that the dudaim were collected in the fields, that they were fit for gathering in the wheat harvest in Mesopotamia, where the first occurrence took place; that they were found in Palestine; that they or the plants which yielded them diffused a peculiar and agreeable odor; and that they were supposed to be possessed of aphrodisiac powers, or of assisting in producing conception. It is possible that there is a connection between this plant and the love-charms (דּוֹדַים) which seem to have been worn by Oriental brides (Song 1:2,4; Song 4:10; Song 7:12; comp. 1:12), like smelling-bottles (Isa 3:20, "tablets"); perhaps these contained an odoriferous mandrake philter. From this it is manifest that there is little to guide us in determining what plant is alluded to at such early periods, especially as no similar name has been recognized in any of the cognate languages. Hence interpreters have wasted much time and pains in endeavoring to ascertain what is intended by the Hebrew word dudaim. Some translate it by "violet," others "lilies," "jasmins," "truffles or mushrooms;" and some think that the word means "flowers," or "fine flowers." Bochart, Calmet, and Sir Thomas Browne suppose the citron intended; Celsius (Hierobot. 1:20; but see, on the contrary, Oedmann, p. 99) is persuaded that it is the fruit of the lote-tree; Hiller that cherries are spoken of; and Ludolf (Hist. AEth. 1:9, etc.) maintains that it is the fruit which the Syrians call matuz (that is, the plantain), resembling in figure and taste the Indian fig; but the generality of interpreters and commentators understand mandrakes (not the melon so called "melo dudaim," but the mandragora) by dudaim. The ground upon which the mandragora has been preferred is that the most ancient Greek translator interprets the Hebrew name in Ge 30:14 by mandrake apples (μῆλα μανὸραγορῶν); and in the Song of Solomon by mandrakes, οἱ μανδραγόραι. Saadias, Onkelos, and the Syriac Version agree with the Greek translators. The first of these puts laffach; the two latter yabruchin, which names denote the same plant (Rosenmüller, Bib. Bot. p. 130, and note; Castelli. Lexicon, p. 1591). The earliest notice of μανδραγόρας c is by Hippocrates, and the next by Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 6:2). Both of these, C. Sprengel (Hist. Rei. Herb. 1:38. 82) supposes, intend Atropa mandragora. Dioscorides (4:76) notices three kinds:

(1.) the female, which is supposed to be the Mandrcgora asutumnalis of Berloton;

Bible concordance for MANDRAKE.

(2.) the male, Mandragorca vesralis of the same botanist (these two are, however, usually accounted varieties of Atropa mandragora);

(3.) a kind called morion. It has been inferred that this may be the same as the mandragora of Theophrastus, which, by some authors, has been supposed to be Atropa belladonna. To all of these Dioscorides ascribes narcotic properties, and says of the first that it is also called Circoea, because it appears to be a root which promotes venery. Pythagoras named the mandragora anthropomorphon, and Theophrastus, among other qualities, mentions its soporific powers, and also its tendency to excite to love. Its fruit was called love-apple, and Venus herself Mandragorites. But it is not easy to decide whether the above all refer to the same plant or plants. (See Lucian, Tim. p. 2; Pliny, 25:94; Apulsei, A sin. 10:233, Bip.; Schol. at Plat. Rep. 6:411, tom. v, Lips.; Philo, Opp. 2:478.) Persian authors on materia medica give madragoras as a synonyme for yebruk, or yabruz, which is said to be the root of a plant of which the fruit is called lufach. This, there is little doubt, must be the above Atropa mandragora, as the Arabs usually refer only to the plants of Dioscorides, and on this occasion they quote him as well as Galen, and ascribe narcotic properties to both the root and the fruit. D'Herbelot (bibl. Orient. 1:72) details some 9f the superstitious opinions respecting this plant, which originated in the East, but which continued for a long time to be retailed by authors in Europe. (See Schubert, 3:116; Schulz, Leit. v. 197; Burckhardt, 1:441.) By the Arabs it is said to be called tilfah al-sheifan, or devil's apple, on account of its power to excite voluptuousness. If we look to the works of more modern authors, we find a continuance of the same statements. Thus Mariti, in his Travels (2:195), says that the Arabs called the mandrake plant, yabrochak, which is, no doubt, the same name as given above. "At the village of St. John, in the mountains, about six miles south-west from Jerusalem. this plant is found at present, as well as in Tuscany. It grows low, like lettuce, to which its leaves have a strong resemblance, except that they have a dark-green color. The flowers are purple, and the root is for the most part forked. The fruit, when ripe, in the beginning of May, is of the size and color of a small apple, exceedingly ruddy, and of a most agreeable odor; our guide. thought us fools for suspecting it to be unwholesome. He ate it freely himself, and it is generally valued by the inhabitants as exhilarating to their spirits and a provocative to venery." Maundrell (Trav. p. 83) was informed by the chief priest of the Samaritans that it was still noted for its genial virtues. H asselquist also seems inclined to consider it the dudacim, for, when at Nazareth, he says (Trav. p. 183), "What I found most remarkable in their villages was the great quantity of mandrakes that grew in a vale below it. The fruit was now (May 16) ripe. From the season in which this mandrake blossoms and ripens its fruit, one might form a conjecture that it is Rachel's dudaim. These were brought her in the wheat harvest, which in Galilee is in the month of Mala about this time, and the mandrake was now in fruit." Dr. Thomson (Land and Book, 2:380) found mandrakes ripe on the lower ranges of Lebanon and Hermon towards the end of April. On the 15th of May, Schulz also found mandrakes on Mount Tabor, which, as he says, "have a delightful scent. and whose taste is equally agreeable, although not to every body. They are almost globular, and yellow like oranges, and about two and a quarter inches in diameter. This fruit grows on a shrub resembling the mallow; and the fruit lies about the stem, as it were about the root, after such a manner that a single shrub may have six to ten fruits, of which the color is so beautifil that no orange equals its brilliancy." This fruit, which a recent traveler describes as of an "insipid, sickish taste," is by the Arabs of other regions alleged to possess strengthening virtues, when used in small quantities, but they call it tufuh el-maujanim, or "apples of the possessed," owing to the temporary insanity which an over-dose produces. "At first," says a traveler, "I felt inclined to doubt the assertion, but during my residence in the country I had the opportunity of witnessing its effect on an English traveler, a Mr. L., who had the temerity to test the property of the mandrake. A few hours after partaking of the root he began to show unequivocal symptoms of insanity; and such was its effect on the nervous system that he had to be relieved by cupping and other remedies before he could be restored to consciousness" (Dupuis, Holy Places [1856], 1:272). The name "love-apple" Gesenius's translation of dudaim — was formerly in this country given to a kindred plant, the tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum), a native of South America, but now largely cultivated everywhere for its agreeable acidulous fruit. "From a certain rude resemblance of old roots of the mandrake to the human form, whence Pythagoras is said to have called the mandrake ἀνθρωπόμορφον, and Columella (10, 19) semihonzo, some strange superstitious notions have arisen concerning it. Josephus (War, 7:6, 3) evidently alludes to one of these superstitions, though he calls the plant baaras. In a Vienna MS. of Dioscorides is a curious drawing which represents Euresis, the goddess of discovery, handing to Dioscorides a root of the mandrake; the dog employed for the purpose is depicted in the agonies of death (Daubeny's Roman Husbandry, p. 275). The mandrake is found abundantly in the Grecian islands, and in some parts of the south of Europe. The root is spindle-shaped, and often divided into two or three forks. The leaves, which are long, sharp-pointed, and hairy, rise immediately from the ground. The flowers are dingy white, stained with veins of purple. The fruit is of a pale orange color, and about the size of a nutmeg; but it would appear that the plant varies considerably in appearance according to the localities where it grows. The man drake (A tropa mandragora) is closely allied to the well-known deadly nightshade (A. belladonna), and belongs to the order Solanacece." See Liebetantz, De Rachelis Dudaim (Vitemb. 1702); Simon, De רּוּדָאַים, etc. (Halle, 1735); Ant. Bertolini, Comment. de Mandragoris (Bol. 1836); Dougtaei Analect. 1:35; Velthuysen, Comment. ub. d. lohelied, p. 502; Eichhorn. Repert. 11:158; Michaelis, Suppl. p. 410; Oken, Lehrb. d. Natursgesch. II, 2:333; W. Bickerton, Dissertation on the Mandrake of the Ancients (Lond. 1737); Tristram, Nat. Hist. of Bible, p. 466 sq.

Definition of mandrake

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