jharper at ix.netcom.com jharper at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 22 16:42:09 EST 1999

The United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism is sponsoring a "Perek Yomi" program.  We are 
currently discussing the beginning of 1st Samuel, and a question has come up about 1 Sam. 5:9.

The question at hand was:

>>>How do the translators get "hemorrhoids" from the Hebrew "afolim"?

To which I responded:

>In my BDB, ayin peh lamed yields three interpretations:

>1.  a fortified mound or hill within a city;
>2.  a tumor, (qere is tet heh resh, instead, more of this below)
>3.  as a verb, to be heedless or presumptuous.

>Looking at tet heh resh, we get 'clean' and 'pure', as in 'taharah'.

>At this point my vote is for 'hemorrhoid' .. if it were only 'tumor', why would the Masoretes 
>insist on cleaning it up as a qere??

I'm hoping my B-Chaverim will be able to shed more light on this.  I'm especially hoping that 
someone can explain the WIDE diversity between qere and ketib here . . .


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