SCURVY (גָּרָב, H1734; ψώρα ἀγρία). In the Bible the term is used to cover almost any kind of obnoxious eruption, and it is pure speculation to limit its meaning to any single skin disease, or even to one definite symptom.

Leviticus 21 states that priests were not allowed to perform their ceremonial duties if they were deformed in any way or had scurvy. Similarly sacrificial animals had to be in prime condition, and certainly with no scurvy or scabs (Lev 22:22, KJV). Scurvy is one of the afflictions with which the Lord threatened to punish the Hebrews if they failed to serve Him (Deut 28:27).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The name "Gareb" is used in Jer 31:39 as the placename of a hill at or near the southeastern corner of Jerusalem, probably from the bare roughness of the surface of its slope at the southern end of the Wady er-Rababi. Another hill of this name is mentioned near Shiloh in the Talmud, and the name is given to one of David’s warriors (2Sa 23:38).

Scurvy etymologically means any condition of scaliness of skin which can be scraped off, such as dandruff.

See also

  • Diseases