Steve Brailsford Steve.Brailsford at
Wed Oct 28 10:47:25 EST 1998

This may be something close,
Gen 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face
of the ground. 
"went up / a mist"  = `alah 'ed

Job 36:27 uses this word in the form of rain.
So water seems to be meant in both cases, one going up, steam or fog, and
one going down, rain.

I can find no other Biblical reference to anything closer.

Steve Brailsford
Seagate Software
steve.brailsford at
(407) 531-7543

-----Original Message-----
From: Irene Riegner [mailto:iriegner at]
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 1998 10:15 AM
To: Biblical Hebrew
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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