When Rashi uses, what we may losely call, the hononym method, Rashi
does not explain new meaning but rather shows an underlying unity in disparate
meanings. Rashi will frequently do this by showing an underlying unity in
the varied meanings of a Biblical root.
In my article
Peshat and Derash found on the world wide web at
I advocate enriching the Rashi explanation
using a technique of parallel nifty translations in modern English. Today's examples
The Heberw Biblical root
has a fundamental meaning of
Hence this Biblical root can mean
slaughter to God
the place where sacrifices are made
Applying the above translation to
the party Jacob made for Laban
And [after the treaty] Jacob slaughtered
[animals] for a party in the mountain
and he called to his family to eat a meal. They
ate a meal and stayed overnight in the mountain.
This particular distinction in meaning can also be approached through the database method.
If we examine verses with the root Zayin-Beth-Cheth we find verses with the indirect
object God or god indicating a slaughter for God/god, that is sacrifice and
we similarly find verses without any reference to a Deity/deity in which case the root indicates
slaughter for purposes of a meal. Another such verse referring solely to meals
but not to sacrifices is 1S28-24 which discusses
the meal the soothsayer made for Saul and his guests.