Notes Spanish Thistle

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.

Genesis 3:18 (KJV)

Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

Genesis 3:18 (RSV)

And thorns and thistles it will grow for you; and you must eat the vegetation of the field.

Genesis 3:18 (NWT)

Thorn and thistles shall grow up on their altars.

Zohary notes that the word dardar shows up only twice in some versions of the Bible. He suggests that dardar may refer to species of Centaurea, possibly C. iberica, called dardar by the Arabs in the Holy Land. Even Zohary is not sure that C. iberica was intended in the Bible, especially the citation in Genesis 3:18. (See Silybum for my equally weak second opinion.) Nowhere does C. iberica occur as a weed in the fields. These Arab and Hebrew names may mean potherb in general rather than Centaurea specifically. This type of thistle is distinguished from other thistles and thorns by the flat, whorled rosette hugging the ground in winter. The Arabs gather the Iberian dardar (meaning whorls), also called murrier (merorim in Hebrew). These terms may mean potherb in general rather than Centaurea specifically. In India, the flower heads are used for eczema.

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