b-hebrew digest: September 27, 1999

Bill Rea cctr114 at its.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Sep 28 18:08:52 EDT 1999


Will Wagers wrote:-

>>Henry wrote:
>>
>>Hmmm, "wench" has connotations of 18th century barmaids, and people
>>dressing up in phony costumes with eyepatches and pretending to be
>>pirates, but I think it's actually the best translation I've seen so
>>far...
>
>How about *bitch* as used in the vernacular of young Afro-Americans?

This word is used by many English speaking peoples and the way it is
used here (New Zealand) in no way reflects the meaning of RaCaM in the
Judges passage.  There it is reasonably clear that as victors the men
in Sisera's army will each rape one or two women. The word appears to
me to reduce the status of the women to subhuman level, just things,
spoils of war to be used, abused, and tossed aside. We dont' have a
good word for this. I agree with those who say that such nice
words as "maiden" not only miss the point, but obscure the real meaning
of the verse.

In this country "bitch" is used to denote a women who is a trouble maker,
difficult to get along with, and the like. This doesn't reflect the 
meaning in Judges. There are various crude terms which probably would
be better, but we should not use one which in anyway expresses the
idea that the victims are in some ways themselves immoral.

--

The discussion on Egyptian history is not relevant to this list,
can the participants take it elsewhere please.



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 
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