[b-hebrew] Prov 21:4

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Jul 15 16:37:15 EDT 2003


This question has more than one level to answer.

First, is there any evidence that a cultivated field was ever written without a medial yod? Though that is not impossible given the phonic spelling of ancient Hebrew, there is no other example in Tenakh supporting this spelling for cultivation. This is a consistent spelling for lamp.

On the other hand, the definition of X+) (chata) is not always connected with wickedness or sin. In Judges 20:16 it is used of slingers who didn’t miss their target. The basic meaning seems to be missing the mark, erring, i.e. making a mistake, as well as making amends for that error. I get the impression from some of its uses that it almost has the meaning of lacking. Only in the moralistic uses does it have the translation of “sin”. It just so happens that the Tenakh uses it in the moralistic sense most often, but I suspect that it had a wider meaning in society. (In koiné Greek, “hamartanein” has most of the same meaning.)

The meaning of the cola seems to be “the lamp of the wicked is missing (the mark?)” At least that is how I understand this verse. Does anyone else have another reading?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim West <jwest at highland.net>

> "ner" can here be vocalized as "tillage" or "lamp".  Neither is really very
> clear here, though "tillage" makes sense in the second cola- yet the cola
> doesn't match up with the first.  And lamp... how can a lamp be wicked or sin?
> Any help out yonder....
> Jim
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Jim West
> Quartz Hill School of Theology
> Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies
> Biblical Studies Resources
> http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
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