Taboo חרם
(2,155 words)

I. Name

ḥērem occurs 29 times in the OT (Lohfink 1982:193–195, for distribution) and has been variously translated ‘ban’, ‘excommunication’, ‘taboo’, ‘a consecrated or contaminated object/person’. It appears in Jewish Aramaic as ḥirmāʾ, in Syriac as ḥermāʾ, and in Arabic as ḥaram, meaning ‘a consecrated and prohibited area’. (Note also Arab. ḥarı̄m ‘wife’, ‘harem’, Nabataean mḥrmh ‘sanctuary’, Sabaean mḥrm ‘sanctuary, temple’.) Grammatically, Brekelmans (1959:43–47) understo…

Cite this page
M. Malul, “Taboo חרם”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 16 January 2019 <>

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