Irene Riegner iriegner at
Wed Oct 28 10:15:15 EST 1998

Dear List People

I have a strange question:  Is there a word for "steam" in biblical
Hebrew?  In Akkadian?

If there is, I wonder if it's a construct form using as one of its
elements "water" (mym) or "nose" (@p) or "to ascend" [ (lh]?

I was reading the BDB definition of @p---nose, nostril, face,
anger---and it occurred to me that the meaning "face" places an
idiomatic English meaning on @p that is not found in Hebrew.  Thus Gen
19.6, "And Joseph's brothers... bowed low to him, noses to the ground"
means just that.  "Faces to the ground," the usual translation, express
the English idiom, not the Hebrew.  By saying that @p also means "face,"
BDB is extending the range of meaning beyond the Hebrew.

Comments?  Any other places you have noticed this extension?  It would
seem that Fox's translation should avoid these pitfalls by a rendering
closer to the Hebrew idiom.


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list