2 Kings 1:8
Ben and Jo Crick
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Mon Aug 12 10:27:33 EDT 2002
On Sat 10 Aug 2002 (19:41:40), black_strat at hotmail.com wrote:
> I am interested in knowing more about the phrase "ba`al se`ar" in 2 Kings
> 1:8. Does this mean that Elijah was a hairy man,
> had a priestly garment of hair, or had long hair (on his head)?
> Those are the three options I have discovered, but none seems to stand out
> in light of what I have been able to learn. Also, does anyone have a good
> Jewish description of what Elijah may have looked like?
You probably saw my initial response. Nobody has yet jumped in on your
complete repost, so here goes:
The consensus of the versions that I have to hand is that "hairy" is the
most likely meaning of "Ba`aL &e`aR". That he was wearing a "hair-shirt"
secured by a girdle is an attractive suggestion favoured by the NIV, but
not by the others.
Zechariah 13:4 has 'aDDeReT &e`aR "they will not put on a hairy mantle in
order to deceive" NRSV.
Matthew 3:4 has "Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt
around his waist...". It seems that John the Baptizer deliberately dressed
in imitation of the stereotyped "prophetic style" of Elijah.
The Zechariah reference clearly indicates a *garment* 'aDDeReT; Genesis 25:25
has K:'aDDeReT &e`aR, like a hairy mantle, describing the perinatal appearance
of baby Esau.
So IMHO we must compare the hapax legomenon Ba`aL &e`aR with Isaiah 41:15
Ba`aL PiYPiYYoT as I suggested in my previous post.
FWIW, Jerome in the Latin Vulgate puts at 2 Kings 1:8 /vir pilosus et zona
pellicia accinctis renibus/ "a hairy man and girded with a leather girdle
round his loins". The LXX has ANHR DASUS, KAI ZWNHN DERMATINHN PERIEZWSMENOS
THN OSFUN AUTOU (virtually identical with the Latin).
Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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