[b-hebrew] Dahood on `ecah, derek, mow$ab

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Thu Oct 2 07:18:32 EDT 2003

>===== Original Message From "B. M. Rocine" <brocine at twcny.rr.com> =====
>"Barely snuck" is over-stating the case.  Thanks for calling me on that.
>HALOT does cite Dahood on gloss #7 ? derek meaning "strength, power."  It
>does not mention Ps. 1:1 or admit the possibility "seat of power."

Well, like I said, I think there's good reason to doubt his reading, and even 
he admits that the meaning of "seat of power" is not often acknowledged by 
Ugaritic scholars. Unlike the Sheffield dictionary, HALOT is trying to balance 
inclusion of proposals with a critical eye toward their validity. I think it's 
bad practice to assume that every use of a word will be cited in the 
dictionary wherever it could possibly fit. Generally, lexicographers have to 
be selective, and they're going to present their best scholarly judgment 
(along with reasonable representation of other viable opinions). If someone is 
dissatisfied with their recommendation for what this particular instance 
means, the #7 entry is there to prompt further study. At this point, the 
bibliographic value of a good lexicon becomes apparent, because it ought to 
(and in this case does) point the user to other resources that have addressed 
a particular issue.
>> Is it having a political nuance if it happens to be a seat of someone in
>> a political position? I don't quite get where this argument is supposed
>> to take us.
>Job 29:7 implies (albeit tenuously) a technical meaning for mow$ab, for
>example.  The idea is that in Ps 1:1 council || assembly || session is a
>tighter parallelism than counsel || way || seat.

But is the use in Job 29:7 political because of moshav or because this moshav 
is in the city gate? My point is that, just because it's possible to refer to 
the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, doesn't have any effect on what I 
mean when I refer to my wife's chair in the living room. It's still a chair, 
and it requires context to specify that it is a position of authority rather 
than a physical object. If the contextual support is significantly weakened by 
rejecting Dahood's proposed meaning for DRK, then it seems like anyone who's 
not convinced by his argument on that point would have good reason to use more 
neutral terms for the rest.

Trevor Peterson

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