The Holy Herb
The word 'herb' appears frequently in the King
James Version of the Bible, and has been interpreted by
some as a justification for the use of the so-called 'holy
herb' (marijuana) for meditative and curative purposes.
The quotation most often cited is Psalm 104:14, He
causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for
the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of
the earth, and the "herb yielding seed"
is mentioned as early as the first chapter of the book of
However, the Hebrew word translated 'herb' merely refers
generally to 'vegetation' - indeed, this is all that the
word 'herb' implied when it was used by translators at
the time of King James (1611). The word has changed its
meaning over the centuries, as have many other words also
found in the KJV. Smoking marijuana is not
a biblical concept.
Some Rastafarians use 'holy herb' medicinally, or to aid
meditation. There has often been much controversy
concerning its possible legalization. Herb is also known
by many other names: marijuana, ganja, collie (also spelt
'kali', 'cooly', etc), lambsbread (a type of high-quality
marijuana), sinsemilla (abbreviated to 'sensie' -
seedless marijuana), and so on.
Sometimes, the Holy Herb may also be connected with the Tree
of Life, as spoken of in Revelation
particularly in reference to "the leaves of the tree"
being "for the healing of the nations."
See, for example, the songs 'True Ganjaman' by Rocker T, and 'Igziabeher' by Peter Tosh.
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