Ex. 34

Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Sun Dec 2 13:06:39 EST 2001

Ben Crick's post came through while I was finishing this, but I think some
of it still bears saying.

It's interesting that both qaran (G pft., here only) and maqrin (C ptc., Ps
69:32 only) seem to be denominative from qeren. That in itself may say
something in favor of their having different senses. Hab 3:4 is the one
passage cited in HALOT where the noun means "ray," but I don't know that it
can be considered a definitive example. If qeren can mean "ray," then that
might explain why there would be two different denominative forms--one to
describe the act of emitting rays, the other the act of growing or the state
of having horns.

If you want some material to explore the issue further, HALOT notes the
following in support of "shine":

Septuagint, Pesitta, Targums
M. Noth, Das Zweite Buch Mose, Exodus, ATD 5:214
Traduction oecumenique de la Bible 1975 (first volume) 190
*B. Childs, The Book of Exodus, Philadelphia & London (1974) 603, 609f

in support of "horns":

Aquila, Vulgate
Michelangelo's Moses
A. Jirku, Die Gesichtsmaske des Mose, Zeitschrift des Deutschen
Palastina-Vereins 67 (1944/5) 43-45
Jack M. Sasson, Bovine symbolism in the Exodus narrative, Vetus Testamentum
18 (1968) 385f
Karl Jaros, Die Stellung des Elohisten zur kanaanaischen Religion 132f
Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 88 (1976) 275-280
J. B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East in Pictures, Princeton 1954 (second
ed. 1969) 309, 513-521

I haven't checked any of the citations, BTW. They're basically just copied
directly out of HALOT and expanded to remove abbreviations, etc.

Trevor Peterson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ben merkle [mailto:benmerkle at moscow.com]
> Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 2:08 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Ex. 34
> 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?
> Thanks,
> Ben Merkle
> New Saint Andrews College
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