Genesis 1:6

Charles David Isbell cisbell at
Thu Dec 13 10:34:44 EST 2001

It is true enough that the verbal root B-D-L does not occur in the Qal in
biblical Hebrew [only in Niph`al and Hiph`al I believe], although it can be
used in modern Hebrew with the meaning "to separate."  Another clear marker
of the root letters shines through the reflexive Le-HiTBaDeL, "to isolate
oneself."  So I don't think modern speakers of Hebrew have trouble
identifying the root or the range of meanings it carries.

I note also that the noun BeDaL occurs in Amos 3.12 with the apparent
meaning "a piece", i.e., something separated out.  In later Hebrew, the noun
HeBDeL means "a distinction," or something separated from something else,
and the well known HaBDaLaH refers to the benediction that "separates" or
concludes a Shabbat or other festival and the coming "profane" day.

Charles David Isbell

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