[b-hebrew] chalal - perforate/pierce?/KRH
if at math.bu.edu
Thu Sep 6 21:49:09 EDT 2007
We need to absolutely distinguish between the operation and the
product. XALON, 'window' is a cavity, or an inclusion in the wall,
irrespective of the way it was created. It is a common mistake in
Hebrew etymology to confuse the two.
I see in Isaiah 53 reference to illness and suffering but not to any
use of sharp instruments or tearing the flesh.
In Isaiah 51:9
הַמַּחְצֶבֶת רַהַב מְחוֹלֶלֶת
HA-MAXCEBET is 'shape' and HA-MXOLELET is 'form'. In my humble
opinion the translation "Was it not you who crushed Rahab, you who
pierced the dragon?" is unacceptable, and is due again to confusing
the operation with the product. What is this act of bravura on God's
part, that should impress us so much? To kill his own sea creatures?
Is God in a prowess contest with Canaanite fishermen killing dolphins
and porpoises? Reference is here to the creation of these sea
monsters not to their destruction.
The two roots XCB and XLL, or just XL, appear earlier in verses 1-2
הַבִּיטוּ אֶל-צוּר חֻצַּבְתֶּם
וְאֶל-מַקֶּבֶת בּוֹר נֻקַּרְתֶּם.
הַבִּיטוּ אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אֲבִיכֶם
clearly in the sense of 'shape' and 'form'.
The root XCB is a variant of XTB. In Psalms 144:12
מְחֻטָּבוֹת תַּבְנִית הֵיכָל
MXUTABOT is 'shaped, formed' not 'curved'.
Sorry, but I can not, even remotely, accept MXOLAL of Isaiah 53:5 as
Isaac Fried, Boston University
On Sep 6, 2007, at 2:23 PM, Robert Newman wrote:
> Hello Isaac,
> Interesting Etymological summary.
> I don't follow how on the basis of this you can conclude:
> "MXOLAL of Isaiah 53:5 is certainly not 'pierced'."
> Even from your etymological comments it is clear that the word can
> refer to an act that opens up some cavity.
> Many translations of Isaiah 53:5 have 'wounded' and with this the
> LXX agrees. The context of 53:5 points to an act of violence or
> aggression (this one is crushed, chastised and subject to blows).
> Another verse in close proximity that seems to have a comparable
> context is Isaiah 51:9 where the word is translated 'pierced' by
> many translations including JPS, ASV, RSV, NJB.
> It just seems to me that your etymological comments actually
> support the idea of a piercing wound at 53:5, could it not refer to
> 'a deep (not external) wound that opens up a cavity' (though this
> may to some degree close up as the weapon /instrument is removed,
> it will remain until such time it may heal)?
> Whatever the case, and whatever translation one might prefer,
> 'pierced' seems to me to be a legitimate translation option along
> with others.
> Robert Newman
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