The noun ʿălûqâ occurs once in MT, in a proverbial expression in Prov. 30.15. The word appears to be pan-Semitic, with cognates attested in Syriac (ʿelaqtā), Arabic (ʿalaq), Ethiopic (ʿalaqt), and Akkadian (ilqu). In each of these cognate languages the meaning is ‘leech’. In Arabic there is a related word, ʿawleq, interpreted as referring to a kind of demon (Canaan 1929:29). This latter sense has been conjectured for the word in MT (e.g. De Moor 1981–1982:111 n. 16).
The Arabic n…