[b-hebrew] Re: 22nd Psalm & 40th Psalm

Deborah Millier deborahmillier at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 2 23:09:37 EST 2003

Jason Hare wrote:

> I have no idea what all of that 
> is. Could you standardize the
> transliteration somewhat? 

Sorry for the confusion, all.  I simply cut and pasted
from Hebrew Union College’s online “Comprehensive
Aramaic Lexicon” (Psa. 22:17):


It is an ongoing project.  I guess they haven’t gotten
their transliterations standardized yet.

> I appreciate the references, but 
> I don't have access to the Peshitta 
> (except that the NT is online at 
> peshitta.org). 

Now you do via HUC’s site.

> Also, could you translate the 
> Aramaic for me? 

I think Ken Penner has captured the gist of what I
wanted to point out.  And I'm confident that he knows
Aramaic *way* better than my puny two classes (one
classical, one targumic) have afforded me.  

The author(s) of the Targum on Psalms apparently
wrestled with the MT and felt the need to add a verb,
probably since the Hebrew syntax struck him/them as
odd.  The author(s) of the Peshitta version of Psa.
22:17 was either translating from the LXX or from a
(probably) Hebrew text containing the verb KARU or

Some of the Midrashim got creative with the MT, but
nothing that is exegetically compelling:

”My hands and my feet they made repulsive [from Heb.
K’AR—ugly, repulsive]” . According to R. Judah, Esther
[the supposed author of Psa 22] said: "Though Haman's
sons practiced sorcery on me so that in the sight of
Ahaseurus my hands and feet were repulsive, yet a
miracle was wrought for me, and my hands and my feet
were made to shine like sapphires. 

But R. Nehemiah said: The verse is to be read: “At my
hands and my feet he was favored with blessing [from
Gk. KHARA—grace, favor],” and conveys much the same
meaning as with the verse "The Lord hath blessed thee
at my foot" [Gen 30:30]. Thus Esther meant: Because of
the work of my hands, blessing came to Ahaseurus.

(Midrash on Psalms, Psalm 22, translated by William
Braude, Yale University Press)

Btw, Pesikta Rabbati 36. 2; 37.1 applies Psa. 22
messianically, although obviously not to Jesus.  :-)

Sorry to wax so long on the Aramaic side of things. 
Hope this helps some though.

-- Michael Millier

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