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

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Nov 24 13:17:21 EST 2003

On 24/11/2003 09:59, David Kimbrough (CLWA) wrote:


>I don't see how "pierce" has this sense of changing the ears so that they
>can hear something they had not heard before. ...
Of course it doesn't. I don't agree with you that the image is 
necessarily one of being able to hear what was previously inaudible. I 
would agree that that is possible, but there is another attractive 
possibility which has nothing to do with being able to hear.

>... Literally there are two parts
>of the ear that can be pierced, the outer cartilaginous portion and the
>eardrum.  In the later case, the opposite effect is achieved.  In the former
>case, the effect on hearing is not obvious.  The reference to Exodus 21:6
>does not seem to address the issue.  In that verse, the ear is "bored"
>(ratsa', a different verb) with the object of making someone a lifelong
>slave. ...
Precisely. This is my alternative interpretation. The psalmist is saying 
that YHWH has made him a willing lifelong slave, because that, rather 
than sacrifices, is the response which He desires to the wonderful 
things he has done.

Now both of these interpretations seem possible to me, and I don't know 
how to choose between them. It is of course possible that there is a 
deliberate ambiguity within this poetic passage. But we can't say that 
one is certainly true and the other certainly false.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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