[B-Greek] Help with Gen. 35:24 "IAMIN"

frjsilver at optonline.net frjsilver at optonline.net
Mon Jun 26 19:42:36 EDT 2006

Dear Friends --

This is certainly getting complicated!

The Greek 70's IAMEIN is meaningless and unhelpful, merely an attempt at transliterating _yamiym_, which seems to have been beyond the capabilities of the translator(s).  Like Spanish, Greek isn't too happy about ending even imported words with an M, in spite of confusing readers with the possibility of some exotic verb's present active infinitive form's being introduced.

There is some support for reading _yam_ as 'South' -- an extension of the semantic field of 'right (as opposed to 'left'), right hand, on the right side, to the right, etc.  This concept underlies the etymology of 'Benjamin', eg, a name imputing the strength of one's own right hand to one's son.  (I don't know just what the ancient Hebrews thought of southpaws.  I've always imagined that being left-handed might be an advantage when writing right-to-left script....)

Now, all this is based in an ancient and very literal notion of 'orientation':  facing East, one's right hand is to the South. This will inform some of my further remarks.

It's clear that the etymology of 'Yemen' refers to its geographic position as the southernmost territory on the Arabian peninsula.  Yet north of Yemen, closer to 'Erets Yisrael, we have the Negev, synonomous with 'desert', but which also means 'South'.

So, weighing the Greek against the Hebrew in the scales of etymology and common sense, I wonder if the verse in question might mean to say that 'Anah found/discovered/explored the South in the desert, where he pastured the donkeys....'

Just some thoughts.

Peace and blessings to all.

Father James

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim West 
Date: Monday, June 26, 2006 5:02 pm
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Help with Gen. 35:24 "IAMIN"
To: Revdpickrel at wmconnect.com
Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org

> Revdpickrel at wmconnect.com wrote:
> > Hi Jim,
> > 
> > Sorry, typo. It should be Gen. 36:24.
> > 
> > Rev. Doug Pickrel, Litt.D.
> > Tejas Valley
> > San Antonio, Texas
> Okie dokie-
> iamin is = to the Masoretic Text's yod ayin yod nun (y'yin) - in 
> plural 
> form y'yim = shovels
> Or- a variant could be yamim = waters, fountains, springs, etc. 
> This is 
> the reading the Vulgate adopts (as it seems to make more sense). 
> Wenham, in the WBC on Genesis suggests it is probably a 
> metathesis for 
> hamayim - "water".
> In other words, its more likely that there's been some sort of 
> scribal 
> slip and what Anah found in the desert were springs rather than 
> shovels. 
> Still, neither the Hebrew nor the LXX is perfectly clear. In 
> my 
> estimation the LXX translator found a word (erroneously written) 
> which 
> he couldn't make heads or tails of and so he simply 
> transliterated it.
> Best
> Jim
> -- 
> Jim West, ThD
> http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
> http://petrosbaptistchurch.blogspot.com -- Weblog
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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