[b-hebrew] "Shaf`el" in Hebrew?
kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Feb 4 15:58:17 EST 2005
Re some of your remarks.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
> In modern Hebrew, we have a great many
> quadratic verbs with t as the first letter and related semantically to
> other verb forms. ... Perhaps extensive Akkadian influence
> in the ANE created a similar situation in ancient times.
We are not discussing modern Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew is a far different language. Modern Hebrew possesses many similarities because of its history. The rest is speculation.
> Regarding $zp vs $zpt, here we do have $zpt in parallel to $h.rh.rt
> (black). And while we could act the lawyer and find all the reasons
> not to read it as Shafel of ZPT, the reading here in Song of Songs,
> suggests this is the more likely explanation. We could claim we
> don't know if ZPT was black, but even in english we have phrases
> like "pitch black" (in par with "sky blue", "blood red", "snow white").
> And in Isaiah 34:9, the fire and smoke and destruction imagery
> suggests the black color. And if we are speaking of forcing modern
> interpretations upon ancient words, it's not clear at all that $zp
> means "tan" in the bible. In fact, Ibn Ezra (Medieval commentator)
> interpreted this verb as "the sun saw me" since $zp in other places
> is used in reference to an eye. But in this verse, it seems perfect,
> coming as an action of the sun to the speaker and in parallel to the
> speaker being black. So, in the end, I think arguing that there is a
> Shafel form of ZPT which was borrowed from some other language
> is the most plausible explanation in this case.
Again, I ask if you are using modern, Northern European and American concept of "pitch"? I just checked Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_%28resin%29 which stated the same as which I thought is the full understanding of the noun, that it refers also to that which is not black because it was derived from plants, not coal nor crude. So how do you know that it means "black"? In fact, its use in Isaiah implies that it was a fluid, maybe sort of like a paint that hardens when spread out thinly.
I agree with Ibn Ezra that "the sun glimpsed me" as a poetic reference to being out in the sun, and tanned thereby. The verb itself has no reference to tanning, but a picturesque way of describing being out in the sun.
> Q(R is found in Exodus 25,29, Num 7:13.
I wrote that the root Q(R is not found. Both of these examples are of the noun Q(RH (a derivitive).
> Yitzhak Sapir
You seem to be putting a lot of effort to defend an idea that you claimed you were just asking about. If these are the strongest arguments pointing to the existance of the shafel in Hebrew, and all of them have perfectly good explanations without invoking the shafel, that makes the evidence weak at best.
Karl W. Randolph.
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