Erum (Hebrew)

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Erum (ערום or Arum), (plural erumim ערומים) is a Hebrew word meaning "cautious, cunning, subtle, crafty, or prudent".

Biblical references[edit]

Erum, whether in its singular or plural forms, is found in many places in the Hebrew Bible. Some examples include:

  • Genesis 3:1 (singular), meaning "cunning", referring to the serpent or Satan (See note below).
  • Job 5:12 (plural), meaning "cunning", referring to those who plot.
  • Job 5:13 (singular), meaning "shrewd", referring to tricksters.
  • Job 15:5 (plural), meaning "clever", referring to well thought words.
  • Genesis 2:25 (plural), rendered "naked". The Targum Pseudo-Jonathan renders erumim as wise.[1]

Note: The consensus of the Biblical commentators in classical Judaism is that the "serpent" of the narrative in the Book of Genesis, was literally a serpent. They differ regarding what force it represented: The "evil inclination", "Satan", or the "Angel of Death". According to the Midrash, before this cunning beast was cursed, it stood erect and was endowed with some faculty of communication.


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