[b-hebrew] HITPAEL as mutual action and Prov 20:2
if at math.bu.edu
Tue Apr 28 10:07:09 EDT 2009
I dislike generalizations and abstractions but think I understand
what you are saying.
I tend to think that TIT-RA)U of Genesis. 42:1 is a scribal error for
TIT-YAR)U, 'discourage yoursevs'.
The NIT-RA)EH of 2Kings 18:8 is 'reveal ourselves'.
WYI$TAKXU of Qohelet 8:10 is 'and they sank themselves into oblivion'.
MIT(ABER of Proverbs 26:17 is 'involve himself, get himself mixed,
bring himself upon', as it is in Proverbs 20:2.
In Proverbs 26:17 (OBER is 'passing by', then MIT(ABER is 'bring
himself over into', the fray that is not his business.
Isaac Fried, Boston University
On Apr 27, 2009, at 4:31 PM, Richard Benton wrote:
> The distinction I am making comes from Kemmer's (1993) book, "The
> Middle Voice." To put it briefly, she defines the difference
> between the middle and reflexive according to the
> "distinguishability of participants." In an active (transitive)
> sentence, A acts upon B. In a reflexive, A acts upon B, but A and
> B happen to be the same. The two are cognitively distinct, but
> pragmatically the same. In the middle, A acts on itself and is
> cognitively the same as the affected entity.
> This distinction is played out in languages that have clear formal
> distinctions between reflexive and middle. For example,
> spontaneous actions (e.g., "boil") would occur in the middle but
> not the reflexive.
> So I would disagree that the middle participant's action would
> necessarily be more intentional or that the participant would be
> under greater control. Hitpael subjects can be unable to act
> (e.g., Qoh 8:10).
> Regarding Prov 20:2, the translations (e.g., NRSV, NJPS) are
> difficult, as they seem to understand a causative nuance of the
> Hitpael, like a Hiphil. This, I think, is a strange way to
> interpret the Hitpael. This verse is hard, but I would interpret
> it in this way. The participle refers to someone getting angry (a
> process--"getting worked up"). The possessive suffix I would
> understand as the object of the anger. So I would translate, "the
> one getting angry at him (the king) sins against himself." The
> moral of the story: don't pick fights with the king, because you
> won't survive the response.
> Isaac Fried wrote:
>> It would be good if you could explain to us briefly what you mean
>> by the "distinctions between the middle and the reflexive". Also,
>> what are the "good examples" of IBHS ?(what is this IBHS?)
>> I see it this way. The hitpael describes an action done by an
>> actor upon himself. By virtue of this the act appears to be
>> intentional and under greater control than when cast in the qal
>> form. For example, saying HOLEK LA-REDET GE$EM, 'it is going to
>> rain', means that a sequence of atmospheric events is set in
>> motion that will inevitably result in rain. But upon reading MIT-
>> HALEK BA-GAN, 'walking in the garden', of Genesis 3:8, one's
>> imagination is triggered to "see" somebody deliberately and
>> controllably leading himself up and down the paths of the garden.
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>> On Apr 16, 2009, at 6:07 PM, Richard Benton wrote:
>>> Dear George,
>>> Yes, it sounds like you see my point. In the past, some authors
>>> have jumped from this observation to the idea that the Hitpael is
>>> reflexive, but you can't make that leap necessarily. Often
>>> languages make clear distinctions between the middle and the
>>> reflexive, even though they are related. (Slavic languages, such
>>> as Russian, do so, as well as others on every continent.)
>>> Furthermore, often the middle overlaps with a passive function,
>>> and we see this in Biblical Hebrew. (IBHS lists some good
>>> Richard Benton
>>> George Athas wrote:
>>>> Good observations, Richard. Your distinction between the Qal and
>>>> Hitpael of HLK is very illuminating, and shows that the Hitpael
>>>> is more interested in the subject being the host of the action
>>>> (i.e. Subject is the locus where the action occurs).
>>>> GEORGE ATHAS
>>>> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
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