Matthew 4:17 'near'
Joe A. Friberg
JoeFriberg at email.msn.com
Sat Dec 4 04:08:17 EST 1999
Randall Buth commented:
>'near' says that the subject is *outside* of a significant boundary
i wouldn't buy that one for Hebrew.
Well, let me take another crack at making a sale!
e.g. jonah 1.5-7 has the captain come right up to jonah's face.
hebrew's implication "in his face" is probably opposite from english "only
near, i.e. not all the way up close", and a translator should be careful.
Steven Craig Miller's comment that QRB does not necessarily correspond
completely with EGGIZW/near may be the complete answer to the issue above.
This comment is supported by the fact that the LXX does not use EGGIZW.
(But why did the LXX use EGGIZW at Jonah 3.6?? That remains a quandry!)
But also, if we accept your interpretation that QRB is equivalent in this
context to "in his face," there yet remains a significant boundary that has
not been crossed: namely touching/assault! So, it seems the definition of
QRB may actually be structured similarly to EGGIZW/near, perhaps with the
distinction of how close-up (in absolute terms) these words can apply in
the most telling of all, of course, is when a man 'comes near' to a woman
in Biblical Hebrew.
I'm afraid that he/she has crossed the *significant boundary*. see gen
20.4, deut 22.14, lev 20.16.
This, I suggest, is a case of *euphemism* built on *understatement* (should
I call that 'hypobole'?)!
cf. also "gash el ha-shulHan" 'come up to the table'.
The NG$ root definitely looks like a candidate for a different meaning:
something much more akin to 'approach' than 'come near', the difference
being mere directionality (towards) vs. direction (towards) + closeness.
Joe A. Friberg
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