Puns.

Reggie Ponder rwponder at minister.com
Wed Jul 17 10:01:45 EDT 2002


B-Hebrewers --
  While we're on this topic, just wanted to express my appreciation to Robert Alter for opening up to me a way of thinking about these "puns" in Biblical Hebrew. As many (most?) of you are aware, Alter has argued that puns -- which in English usually are thought of as sort of a low form of humor -- express anything from humor to dramatic irony, and are in fact an important aspect of how meaning is fashioned in Biblical Hebrew.  
  I hope I haven't oversimplified Alter's point too much, but this seems to me the basic point.  This understanding of the phenomenon has been very helpful for me in interpreting Biblical texts.
Shalom,
Rev. Reginald W. Ponder, Jr. 
Rainbow United Methodist Church
Snow Hill, NC USA 
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Athas" <gathas at hotkey.net.au>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 16:39:41 +1000
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.metalab.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: Puns.


> The Hebrew Bible is full of puns. So many, in fact, that I think it would be hard to catalogue all
> of them. It is one of the beauties of Hebrew. The system Hebrew works off (the root system) works
> wonderfully well for making puns and innuendo and the like. The main puns are in poetic sections,
> but you do find them in prose. One that comes to mind is at the end of Judg 4 where Jabin, king of
> Canaan (kn[n) is subjugated (root: kn[).But there are many, many more.
> 
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> GEORGE ATHAS
> (Sydney, Australia)
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ian Goldsmith" <iangoldsmith1969 at yahoo.co.uk>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 8:00 PM
> Subject: Puns.
> 
> 
> | Good Morning All.
> |
> | Liz gave me a good line on a pun in Genesis 3 a while
> | back and it was mentioned that there are others.
> |
> | Anyone know where one might find any 'others'?
> |
> | It's a bit frivolous I know, but interesting anomalies
> | in the Hebrew text help to grab students interest and
> | encourage them to want to learn more. So if you have
> | any such puns and anomalies I'd be grateful for them.
> |
> | Many thanks.
> | Ian.
> |
> | =====
> | Ian Goldsmith.
> | England.
> |
> | Dibrah Torah kilshone bnei-adam
> | 'The Torah spoke in the language of ordinary men.'
> | Berakot 31b
> |
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