Meadow a term used in the A. V. as the translation of two Hebrews words, neither of which seems to have this meaning, although terms otherwise rendered doubtless have. SEE ABEL.
1. Ge 41:2,18. Here the word in the original is הָאָחוּ (with the definite article), ha-Achu. It appears to be an Egyptian term, literally transferred into the Hebrew text, as it is also into that of the Alexandrian translators, who give it as' τῷ ῎Αχει. (This is the reading- of Codex A. Codex B, if we may accept the edition of Mai, has ἕλος; so also the rendering of Aquila and Symmachus, and of Josephus [Ant. 2:5, 5]. Another version, quoted in the fragments of the Hexapla, attempts to reconcile sound and sense by ὄχθη. The Veneto-Greek has λειμών.) The same form is retained. by the Coptic version. Its use in Job 8:11(A.V. "flag")-where it occurs as a parallel to gome (A.V. "rush"), a word used in Ex 2:3 for the "bulrushes" of which Moses's ark was composed- seems to show that it is not a " meadow," but some kind of reed or water plant. This the Sept. supports, both by rendering in. the latter passage βούτομον, and also by introducing ῎Αχι as the equivalent of the word rendered "paper reeds" in Isa 19:7. Jerome, in his commentary on the passage, also confirms this meaning. He states that he was informed by learned Egyptians that the word achi denoted in their tongue any green thing that grew in a marsh-omne quod in palude virens nascitur. But, as during high inundations of the Nile-such inundation's as are the cause of fruitful years-the whole of the land on either side is a marsh, and as the cultivation extends up to the very lip of the river, is it not possible that Achu may denote the herbage of the growing crops? The fact that the cows of Pharaoh's vision were feeding there would seem to be as strong a figure as could be presented to an Egyptian of the extreme fruitfulness of the season: so luxuriant was the growth on either side of the stream, that the very cows fed among it unmolested. The lean kine on the other hand, merely stand on the dry brink. SEE NILE, No one appears yet to -have attempted to discover on the spot what the Signification of the term is. SEE REED.
2. Jg 20:33 only: "the meadows of Gibeah." Here the word is מִעֲרֶה, Maareh', which occurs nowhere else with the same vowels attached to it. The sense is thus doubly uncertain. "Meadows" around Gibeah can certainly never have existed: the nearest approach to that sense would be to take maareh as meaning an open plain. This is the dictum of Gesenius (Thesaur. p. 1069), on the authority of the Targum. It is also adopted by De Wette (" Die Plane von G."). But, if an open plain, where could the ambush have concealed itself? SEE PLAIN.
The Sept., according to the Alex. MS. (the Vatican Codex transfers the word literally- Μαρααγαβέ), read a different Hebrew word— מִעֲרָב — "from the west of Gibeah." Tremellius, taking the root of the word in a figurative sense, reads " after Gibeah had been left open," i.e. by the quitting of its inhabitants-post denudationem Gibhoe. This is adopted by Bertheau (Kurzgef. Handb. ad loc.). But the most plausible interpretation is that of the Peshito-Syriac, which by a slight difference in the vowel- points makes the word מעָרָת , " the cave;" a suggestion quite in keeping with the locality, which is very suitable for caves, and also with the requirements of the ambush. The only thing that can be said against this is that the liers-in-wait were "set round about" Gibeah, as if not in one spot, but several. SEE GIBEAH.