b-hebrew digest: September 02, 1999

Lael Caesar caesarl at andrews.edu
Tue Sep 7 19:48:57 EDT 1999


Re:  Hasatan

For fussiness sake, it should be hassatan.  Too, the Tur-Sinai notion of the satan as
royal/imperial prosecutor continues to be repeated in OT literary studies as reflected in Carol
Newsome's remark.  ANE support is yet to be demonstrated.  Indeed, to judge by the Joshua scene of
Zech 3, the role of prosecutor is an anachronism inconsistent with OT justice.  In that case, even
though the question of guilt is beyond doubt, the accuser is silenced by the presiding judge who
turns out to be both defender and liberator of the guilty.  None of the biblical occurrences of the
term presents a satan who ferrets out hidden disloyalty.  He does not in Job, and dnes not need to
in other cases such as 1 Kgs 11, Ps 109.  The concept simply does not fit 2 Sam 19 or anywhere else
in the OT.  However much it corresponds to current practice it remains a more than dubious
interpretation of the biblical material.

Laelove caesarl at andrews.edu

Lael Caesar
Associate professor of Religion
Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104
(616) 471-3184
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>
> Subject: hasatan
> From: Jim West <jwest at Highland.Net>
> Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 15:26:11 -0400
> X-Message-Number: 11
>
> Colleagues,
>
> In comments re: Job 1:8 Carol Newsome says that hasatan is "One who defends
> a king's honor by zealously ferreting out hidden disloyalty".  My question-
> is there any near eastern text which describes the activities of 'hasatan'
> in any court?  Is the word used outside the HB to describe a loyalist spy
> who went about the kingdom to uncover plots and the like?  Is there another
> word in the literature which would denote this kind of activity?  Is there
> some Babylonian text or Sumerian or Akkadian or Ugaritic which uses the
> equivalent of 'hasatan' in this sort of way?
>
> In sum, is there any evidence that Newsome is correct here?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Jim
>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Jim West, ThD
> email- jwest at highland.net
> web page-  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Re: root
> From: "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 13:20:26 -0700
> X-Message-Number: 12
>
> Randall wrote:
> > the following still seems to be an issue:
> >
> > (quotes below are from the vav conversive thread)
> > >The root is the lexical form most of the time, although the term is
> > >also used of the non-pointed (usually-)three-radical base from
> > >which words are derived (e.g. )HB for both )FHAB the verb and
> > >)FHFB the noun).  The stems or binyanim are inflections of the root
> > >that are formed using various infixes and affixes.
> >
> > i would strongly advise that the second line is correct and would point out
> > that the first line is very misleading, something endemic in our field. the
> > first line leads to "etymological" thinking and students thinking that they
> > can/should 'conjugate' new vocabulary. (e.g. waltke/o'conner's overview of
> > binyanim.)
> > roots are abstractions but are not lexemes (e.g. in terms of a deep
> > structure producing and filling predicate frames), despite the 1000-year
> > old dictionary convention of gathering verbs and other words under roots.
> [snip]
> I'm a tad uncertain as to what is "first line" and "second line," but I
> wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment about roots.  From a
> transformational-generative point of view, what we are looking at
> with roots is a fine example of X-bar syntax.  The noun and verb
> may ultimately derive from the same "root," but grouping everything
> under a root heading just makes words harder to find.  This is why I
> tell my online students to get Holladay's lexicon and smile
> passingly at BDB in the beginning.  I hope it didn't sound as though
> I'm advocating the BDB type approach; I merely sought to answer
> the question about what constitutes a root.
>
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> "Ich veranlassenarbeitenworken mein Mojo."
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Re: b-hebrew digest: September 01, 1999
> From: Bill Rea <cctr114 at its.canterbury.ac.nz>
> Date: Fri, 03 Sep 1999 10:00:46 +1200 (NZST)
> X-Message-Number: 13
>
> Paul Zellmer wrote:-
>
> >We may only have a semantic disconnect here, but these are two
> >completely different items in my understanding.  The root is the lexical
> >base (in hebrew, generally three consonants) that bear the basic
> >semantic meaning of the lexical entry.
>
> When I was in Hebrew class we were cautioned in no uncertain terms
> that this approach was purely for convenience. We were taught that
> the root was a theoretical entity extracted from the fact that
> actual words which share the root often have similar or related
> meanings. But in reality the root doesn't actually have a meaning and
> the lexical meaning of actual words always takes precedence over any
> theoretical meaning one might derive from the root.
>
> So which is right? I wouldn't normally ask this question, but Paul
> posts so intelligently here I feel need to clarify this. Also,
> in my experience people who speak about the root meaning of words
> often are trying to load extra meaning onto a word which in reality it
> cannot bear. So we need to be careful with roots even if Paul's
> right.
>
> Bill Rea, Information Technology Services, University of Canterbury  \_
> E-Mail b dot rea at its dot canterbury dot ac dot nz                 </   New
> Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                        /)  Zealand
> Unix Systems Administrator                                         (/'
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Ps. 95:7c
> From: John Barach <jbarach at telusplanet.net>
> Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 13:55:49 -0600
> X-Message-Number: 14
>
> B-Haverim:
>
> Could I solicit your opinions with regard to how the clause at the end
> of Psalm 95:7 should be rendered.  Is it an optative ("Today, if only
> you would hear his voice!") or is it the protasis of a conditional
> clause, with the following verses as the apodosos ("Today, if you hear
> his voice, then do not harden your hearts").
>
> The latter is the way the LXX and the quotation in Hebrews 3 are usually
> translated -- which might lead to a secondary question: Does the LXX
> (and Heb. 3) necessarily have to be rendered as a protasis and apodosis?
> Or can EAN + subjunctive be used to express a wish?
>
> Are there clues/evidences in the context or in the grammar to indicate
> which rendering is best?  (The "problem" with taking vv.8ff. as the
> apodosis is that there is a change in pronoun from third to first person
> -- but such a shift is probably not unheard of elsewhere in the Psalms!)
>
> Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
>
> Regards,
>
> John
>
> %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
> John Barach  (403) 317-1950
> Pastor, Trinity Reformed Church (URCNA)
> 113 Stafford Blvd. N.
> Lethbridge, AB
> T1H 6E3
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Re: roots
> From: "Paul Zellmer" <zellmer at digitelone.com>
> Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 07:24:25 +0800
> X-Message-Number: 15
>
> I didn't realize the furor that my quick and dirty characterization of
> root and stem was going to touch off.  (Randall, thanks for not holding
> me to it.)  Please allow me a bit of clarification as to my actual
> practice/teaching and the reason why I answered the way I did.  But I
> still give the same disclaimer!
>
> In practice, I also reach for Holladay's first, not so much because of
> the alphabetical (aleph-beth-ical?) nature of its entries, but because
> it is based on more current research.  I would reach for K-B, but my
> German is no where near good enough to use this effectively.  I also
> suggest Holladay for my students, since it is available here in the
> Philippines and does seem to be a decent lexicon.  I then look under the
> appropriate stem for the gloss, searching for the environment in which
> the word is found in the Tanakh text under consideration.  In short, I
> do not try to come up with a new derivation of meaning for the word--my
> level of expertise in that area falls much too short to be able to be
> anything more than a user of other people's work.
>
> Given that, however, there does seem to be merit to the concept of a
> root idea.  But, as I told a couple of my students just last week,
> rather than use it as a springboard to come up with new glosses, I see
> its benefit more as a tether to keep from taking the glosses found in
> the lexicons too far afield.  After all, semantic domains between
> language rarely match up completely, so it is easy to find a gloss that
> has crossed from one domain in the receptor language to another.  If one
> is unwary, he might move the stake for his tether and end up seeing
> something in the text that was never intended.
>
> Similarly, there also seems to be some relationships between how moving
> from one stem to another affects the resultant meaning of the word.
> Again, I don't try to force a simple effect on every case, but I do use
> it as a hint of what could well be going on in the usage in the text.
> Going back to the tether idea, the stem seems to indicate which
> direction the tether is being pulled.
>
> But all this is beside the point.  As I understood the original
> questions, Brian Tucker (in part) seemed to have run across some terms
> in some grammars, and he wanted to make sure he understood what was
> being addressed.  Whether we personally agree with the terms or not,
> whether or not they are in vogue among "the scholars" today, they are
> nontheless terms found in the grammars that were used to attempt to
> explain what was observed in the data.  The questions appeared to be
> honest, and they deserved honest responses even if those responses would
> then immediately be followed up by disclaimers that the concept (like
> the waw-conversive) is no longer considered a realistic explanation of
> the data.
>
> FWIW,
>
> Paul
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Joshua and Jeshua
> From: "Tony Costa" <tmcos at hotmail.com>
> Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 17:23:46 PDT
> X-Message-Number: 16
>
> Can anyone shed some light on the relation between Joshua (Yehoshua) and
> Jeshua. I understand that Jeshua appears in the post-exilic texts like
> Zechariah. Is Jeshua a later development from Joshua or a contracted form of
> Joshua? Many thanks.
>
>                                  Tony Costa, B.A.
>                                  University of Toronto
>
> ______________________________________________________
> Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Re: Jerusalem, neuter plural
> From: "Joe A. Friberg" <JoeFriberg at email.msn.com>
> Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 22:05:23 -0500
> X-Message-Number: 17
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jim West <jwest at Highland.Net>
> To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, September 02, 1999 4:08 PM
> Subject: Re: Jerusalem, neuter plural
>
> > At 09:13 PM 9/2/99 +0300, you wrote:
> > >I would like to hear from those on the list about any grammatical
> > >concepts or linguistic rules that apply when taking a place name (or a
> > >proper noun or noun) from one language to another with the results like
> > >we find with Jerusalem in the GNT when it is a neuter plural:
> > >IEROSOLUMA, TA.
> >
> > It has nothing to do with the use of neuter plurals for singulars or
> > anything of the like.  In Hebrew- the name of the city is Yerushalayim...
> > dual and not plural- which would be Yerushalim.  The origin of this usage
> is
> > quite simply the fact that Jerusalem sits on a couple of hills (thus the
> > dual notion).
> >
> > When Greek writers took up the name of the city they used the plural
> (since
> > greek has no dual form, as does Hebrew).
>
> The original question is still a good one.  Why does the name come in as
> neuter (or feminine), and why the alternatives between n.pl. and f.sg.?
>
> Are there linguistic universals at play?  I am aware of some studies
> regarding the *phonology* of borrowed words/names, but know of none with
> respect to the *morphology*, so, does anyone have that answer?
>
> Joe Friberg
> Arlington, TX
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Subject: Re: roots
> From: Brian Tucker <music at riverviewcog.org>
> Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 11:33:55 -0700
> X-Message-Number: 18
>
> Brian Tucker wrote:
> >
> > Greetings
> >
> > Paul Zellmer wrote:
> > >
> > <snipped>
> >
> > > But all this is beside the point.  As I understood the original
> > > questions, Brian Tucker (in part) seemed to have run across some terms
> > > in some grammars, and he wanted to make sure he understood what was
> > > being addressed.  Whether we personally agree with the terms or not,
> > > whether or not they are in vogue among "the scholars" today, they are
> > > nontheless terms found in the grammars that were used to attempt to
> > > explain what was observed in the data.  The questions appeared to be
> > > honest, and they deserved honest responses even if those responses would
> > > then immediately be followed up by disclaimers that the concept (like
> > > the waw-conversive) is no longer considered a realistic explanation of
> > > the data.
> > >
> >
> > What, from your perspecitive would be a more cogent explanation of the
> > (waw-conversive)? I have found your remarks to be rather helpful and I
> > am interested in the current thinking on this matter.
> >
> > Thanks
> > Brian Tucker
> > music at riverviewcog.org
> > Riverview, MI
>
> ---
>
> END OF DIGEST
>
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