T.L. Phillips tiphillips at
Wed Oct 28 11:17:15 EST 1998

This has been my problem with (English) translations, and also Fox but to a
lesser extent. I would like to see the Tanak presented as the non-English,
non-Western document(s) it/they are. Idioms say a lot of how the writers and
their culture thought. They should be retained as much as possible. That's
why I began working on my own translation again. Won't be perfect, maybe not
"flowing verse" but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Fox still makes
too many accommodations.


-----Original Message-----
From: Irene Riegner <iriegner at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Date: Wednesday, October 28, 1998 9:11 AM
Subject: Translation

>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.
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