2 Ki 2:23-24

George Athas gathas at ausisp.com
Mon Jul 16 09:47:55 EDT 2001


The essential connotation of na`ar is someone who is inexperienced. Thus, you have a whole
range of vocabulary which could translate this word. Take your pick according to context:

youth / young man
boy
lad
trainee
apprentice
acolyte
junior
inexperienced person

(Hence, we don't have to sit and ponder too hard when Solomon protests at being a na`ar
when he took the throne at 40 years of age. He was simply claiming his inexperience -- not
his lack of age.)

In the context of 2 Ki 2:23-24, I would say two factors determine the meaning of na`ar:

(1) The use of the adjective qetannim (small/young) with ne`arim
(2) The use of the word yeladim (children) in parallel with ne`arim.

These two factors would indicate that the text has "boys" in view here.

Don't be limited to just one word for translating na`ar whenever you come across it. Since
it has numerous connotations, context should govern the nuance and hence the choice of
word for translation.



Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)
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