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
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,

(Sydney, Australia)
Tel Dan Inscription Website

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