AMOMUM (ἄμωμον, perhaps from Arab. hamma, ‘heat’)

An aromatic balsam used as an unguent for the hair, made from the seeds of an eastern plant which has not been identified with certainty, Josephus (Ant. xx. ii. 2) speaks of Harran as ‘a soil which bare amomum in plenty,’ and Vergil (Ecl. iv. 25) predicts that in the Golden Age ‘Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum.’ The word came to be used generally for any pure and sweet odour. In Rev 18:13 AV (with B אc) omits the word; RV (with א* AC) accepts it and translates ‘spice’ (RVm ‘Gr. amomum’). The term is now applied to a genus of aromatic plants, some species of which yield cardamoms and grains of paradise.

James Strahan.

AV Authorized Version.

RV Revised Version.

RVm Revised Version margin.

Strahan, J. (1916-1918). Amomum. In J. Hastings (Ed.), Dictionary of the Apostolic Church (2 Vols.) (J. Hastings, Ed.) (1:54). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

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