One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The afternoon prayer service, the second of three daily services (the others being maariv and shacharit).
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Joseph Hall (1574–1656), bishop of Norwich, religious writer, and satirist. From post-biblical Hebrew minḥāh (in biblical Hebrew ‘gift, tribute, offering, especially meal offering; sacrifice’, ultimately from the same Semitic base as Arabic manaḥa to give, minḥa(h) a gift or donation); the sense ‘afternoon prayer’ probably developed from the saying of such a prayer at the time previously associated with the evening sacrifice (for the origin of which practice compare 1 Kings 18:36).
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