Ex. 34

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sun Dec 2 12:17:19 EST 2001


On Sat  1 Dec 2001 (11:08:23), benmerkle at moscow.com wrote:
> In Ex. 34 Moses comes down from the Mountain with the skin of his face
> shining (in modern English translations). I know there is a long
> medieval tradition of giving Moses horns instead. BDB gives Ex. 34 as
> the only place
> where the root KRN indicates shining and everywhere else it seems to
> indicate horns of some sort. I think the imagery of "shining" is a lot
> better than horns, but personnal preference aside, is there any other
> justification for using translating KRN as shining?
>
 Dear Ben,

 According to Saul/Paul of Tarsus, "the children of Israel could not
 steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance" (2
 Corinthians 3:7, KJV). Compare the account of the Transfiguration: "... and
 [Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face shone as the sun, and his
 raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared to them *Moses*
 and Elijah talking with him" (Matthew 17:2-3).

 According to the Septuagint translators in Exodus 34:
 (29b)  MOWSHS OUK HiDEI hOTI DEDOXASTAI hH OYIS TOU CRWMATOS TOU PROSWPOU
 AUTOU EN TWi LALEIN AUTON AUTWi. (30) KAI EIDEN AARWN KAI PANTES hOI
 PRESBUTEROI ISRAHL TON MWUSHN, KAI HN DEDOXASMENH hH OYIS TOU CRWMATOS TOU
 PROSWPOU AUTOU: KAI EFOBHQHSAN EGGISAI AUTWi. (29b) "Moses knew not that the
 appearance of the skin of his face was glorified, when [God] spoke to him.
 (30) And Aaron and all the elders of Israel saw Moses, and the appearance of
 the skin if his face was made glorious, and they feared to approach him"
 (L Brenton translation).

 The Hebrew root Q-R-N in the Qal means to send out rays (like the sun); but
 in the Hiphil it means to put forth horns, or to be horned. The usual word
 for a Horn is QeReN; in the LXX, KERAS. The word for a ram's horn is $oPaR
 (ram's horn trumpet).

 I take leave to doubt that Moses' rays of light were "horns" in the sense of
 the horned rams in Daniel 7 and 8, which are said to represent the kings of
 Media and Persia; or of the rough goat representing Alexander the Great
 (Daniel 8:21). A headdress with horns was worn as a symbol of power by a
 conquering general or chieftain (Amos 6:13). Moses was too meek a man to wear
 such a headdress (Numbers 12:3).

 Shalom,
 Ben
-- 
 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
 http://www.cnetwork.co.uk/crick.htm






More information about the b-hebrew mailing list