_live_ vs. _XYH_

Bryan Rocine brocine at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 6 19:01:46 EST 2000


The twenty or so English translations of Hab 2:4b that I
checked translate the Hebrew _YIXYEH_ as some form of
_live_, *but*...

English _live_ can mean not only a.) to have life ("the man
that had the heart attack still lives") but also b.) to
conduct one's life ("he lives righteously" or "he lives like
a bum").  I suspect that BH _XYH_ does not have this range
of meaning, the Hebrew root meaning only a.) to have life.
I think the meaning b.) to conduct one's life, is expressed
by BH _HLK_ and perhaps some other words or idioms.  I
notice that in English, to express that something has life
we usually opt for the adjective _alive_ rather than the
verb _live_.  This preference might be further indication of
different semantic ranges for the English _live_ and the BH

This distinction between _live_ and _XYH_ would have impact
on our understanding of, for instance, Hab 2:4 VETSADYQ
BE'EMUNATO YIXYEH "But  the righteous one lives by faith."
The meaning of the sentence is that the righteous one is
sustained in life by his faith, that is, as he has faith.
The sentence is not saying directly that the righteous one
*conducts* his life by faith.  I think we might translate
the notion of the Hebrew more precisely "But the righteous
one is sustained by his faith."

I would appreciate your feedback!  thanks!


B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315-437-6744
(home) 315-479-8267

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