Aquirer v. possessor (Is 1:3)
ronning at ilink.nis.za
Wed Nov 18 02:18:36 EST 1998
Paul Zellmer asked,
>Our questions: Does our use of "toro" (picture a bull in the
>bullfights) go contrary to the normal usage of $oWR? Are we
>overplaying the acquisition as opposed to possession with the word
>QoN"HW.? Does the contrast that we result in coincide with what you
>see in these verses, or is it too strong?
>Thanks for your thoughts,
My reaction is yes and yes, based on the context.
The contrast is between (relatively stupid) animals who are obedient to
their owners, and Israel who is disobedient to its owner-acquirer-creator
(qanah seems to have the primary sense of create, and derived senses of
acquire, possess - see Cassuto on Gen 4:1). I doubt therefore whether there
is any suggestion of animals who are hostile.
Second point regards parallelism. The second half of the verse has in
parallel Israel-my people, and know-understand (i.e. synonymous); it seems
likely that ox-donkey and owner-master in the first part of the verse are
also simply synonymous.
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