I do NOT mean "bed". But rather how it is being used in some specific verses:

Num. 31:17, 18, & 35; Jdgs.12:11 & 12; Ezk 23:17)

What does the word "mishkav" as mentioned ONLY in Num. 31:17,18, & 35; Jdgs.21:11 & 12; Ezk 23:17 mean in Hebrew Scriptures translated to English? What grammatical & contextual explanation do you have for your answer?馃

In those verses, it can NOT mean "bed" in a literal sense.

  • Num 31:17 - Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.
  • Judges 21:11 - And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
  • Eze 23:17 - And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust.

1 Answer 1


The Hebrew word 诪执砖职讈讻指旨讘 (mishkav) occurs 46 times in the OT always means either

  • a bed for lying on
  • the act of lying and as such, is a euphemism for sexual activity

In the three sets of texts quoted by the OP, the meaning is clearly the final - the act of lying on a bed as a euphemism/idiom for sexual activity.

Even in modern English, to say someone "bedded" someone else, or to say to "go to bed with someone" is still a euphemism for sexual activity.

APPENDIX - BDB lexicon entry for 诪执砖职讈讻指旨讘

1 couch, bed (37 t.), 2 Samuel 4:11; Hosea 7:14; Micah 2:1; 1 Kings 1:47; Songs 3:1 +; 壮讜职谞指驻址诇 诇职诪 Exodus 21:18 (E) he takes to his bed; 谞执讚指旨转指讛旨 壮诪 Leviticus 15:26 (P; see below I. 谞讚讚); 壮诪 as place of copulation Genesis 49:4 (poem in J), Isaiah 57:7,8 (twice in verse); Proverbs 7:17; as place of burial Isaiah 57:2; Ezekiel 32:25; 2Chronicles 16:14 (see 壮诪 Inscription Tabnit8 and perhaps Jewish inscription Cooke341).

2 act of lying:

a. in General, 壮讞植讚址专 诪 chamber of lying down = bed-chamber, Exodus 7:28 (E), 2 Samuel 4:7; 2 Kings 6:12, 讘职旨讞址讚职专值讬 诪执砖职讈讻指旨纸讘职讱指 Ecclesiastes 10:20; 讛址爪指旨讛殖专址讬执诐 壮讜讛讜旨讗 砖止讈讻值讘 讗值转 诪 2 Samuel 4:5 his noon-day siesta; 2 Samuel 17:28 read perhaps 壮注址专职砖讉转 诪 couches for lying down Klo Bu HPS Now, compare 岬5.

b. (from context) sexually: of woman 讬止讚址注址转 (讗执讬砖讈 诇职) 诪执砖职讈讻址旨讘 讝指讻指转 Judges 21:11,12; Numbers 31:17,35 (P); of man 砖讈讻讘 诪执砖职讈讻职旨讘值讬 讗执砖指旨讈讛 Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13 (+ 讗侄转讝指挚讻指专 sodomy; H); 壮讚止旨讚执讬诐 诪 Ezekiel 23:17.

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