2 Ki 2:23-24

Charles David Isbell cisbell at home.com
Mon Jul 16 11:58:57 EDT 2001

I think it is impossible to put a sharp distinction between words like na`ar
and yeled without dragging in the ways in which they later became
distinguished in rabbinic Hebrew.  For example, Exodus 2:6 refers to the
three month old infant [Moses] with both terms in the same sentence!  "Then
[the daughter of the Pharaoh] saw him--the yeled--and Lo, the na`ar was
crying."  There are probably numerous other examples of two words this close
in meaning being used together.  What is wrong with the assumption that the
author was simply trying to avoid monotony, and used synonyms to make the
narrative flow?   I believe there is little to be gained by assigning a
strict age or experience specificity to a word that has such a broad
referential field.
Kol Tuv,
Charles David Isbell
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Stabnow" <dstabno at lifeway.com>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 7:51 AM
Subject: Re: 2 Ki 2:23-24

> Shoshanna,
> I agree with your short answer.  But questions of vocabulary are seldom
> satisfied with short answers.  As you know, na'ar is used of children of
> varying ages, from pre-birth to early twenties.  It also refers to "young
> servant" or "retainer" (acolyte?).  Still, I agree that the default
> is the bar-mitzvah boy, on the verge of manhood.
> As to the variation in 2 Ki 2, note that in v. 23 they are ne'arim ketanim
> "little youths," for which yeladim in v. 24 is a synonym.
> Dave Stabnow
> >A na'ar (youth) is someone older than a yeled
> >
> >Yeled (child) related to the word "LaLedet" - to give birth
> >
> >Tinok (infant) - because it still nurses (Yonek).
> >
> >Shoshanna
> >
> >
> >
> >>Can somebody tell me if there is any significant differance between the
> >>words na`ar  and yeled?
> >>
> >>In 2Ki 2:23 It says some children (na`ar) came and mocked him. Then in
> the
> >>next verse (24) it says that he cursed them, and that a she bear came
> >>tore 42 children (yeled). Why the differant words?
> >>
> >>TIA
> ---

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