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

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Thu Nov 27 17:48:17 EST 2003

Hi Folks,

The following points:
1. The verb KRH/KRY means "to dig", NOT "to pierce". To pierce one's ear is
RC(, as in Exod. 21:6.
2. In the wider context of Ps. 22, the speaker is surrounded by bad animals:
bulls, lions (v. 14 [13 in English]), dogs and bad folk in our verse, and
again dogs, lions and "reemim" (whatever they are) a few verses down. SO
"like lions" makes perfect sense here.
3. However, IF K)RY is "like (a/the) lion", the verb is missing. "my hands
and feet ARE like lions" doesn't fit the context - I'd expect something like
"TPSW" - "like a lion they caught my  hands and feet". But that's not in the
text. Which may be why the vorlage of the DDS and the LXX had KRW - to
supply a verb. But what does "piercing hand and feet" mean IN THIS CONTEXT,
unless it's about Jesus. Which it's not (at least, "king David" didn't think
it was...).
4. The way I read Ps. 40:7 is, since God created us with ears to hear and to
understand, He does not want sacrifices. KRYT, "you dug" here does not refer
to opening up ears that were closed, but to the original creation of ears in
our bodies.
5. An interesting addendum: in  Papyrus Anastasi I, there is a sentence in
Canaanite, which the Egyptian scribe write in Egyptian transliteration, just
to show what and expert he was. The phrase includes a word that can be
transcribed as either "ari" - lion, "air" - donkey, or "ail" - deer,
changing the whole meaning of the text.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "David Kimbrough (CLWA)" <dkimbrough at clwa.org>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2003 8:17 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Re: 22nd Psalm & 40th Psalm

> 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
> >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)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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