[b-hebrew] Re: Proverbs 30:19

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Oct 2 17:44:15 EDT 2003

On 02/10/2003 11:01, Karl Randolph wrote:

>What I see is the utter unpredictability of action.
>When an eagle soars on the updrafts, it is constantly on the ourlook for prey. It jerks back and forth, sudden turns if it thinks it see something promising, only to turn back if not, or to swoop down in a dive if prey is confirmed: I wouldn’t be surprised if the eagle itself doesn’t know from second to second what its next action will be.
>A snake in grass or on sand has much to anchor its actions, hence has no problem with making a smooth, undulating motion. Not so on bare rock: the smoother the rock, the more discontinuous, jerky the action becomes. There is no predicting which way the snake will turn next to find unevennesses to grip onto to move forward.
>When a ship travels from headland to headland, there is no predicting which way it will turn when it reaches the next headland. Even the captain doesn’t know until he reaches it and sees the conditions. In the Mediterranean there are no tides to complicate the decision, but ships were still captive to wind and wave conditions. Maybe the last time he turned left to go to the next headland, but this time he turns right for shelter against an arriving storm. There is no prediction.
>Now if DRK GBR B(LMH means a man dealing with a virgin, what sort of jerky, unpredictable motion are we talking about? In those days of arranged marriages, are we talking about courtship as we presently practice? The LXX finesses it by recognizing the often unpredictability of a man’s actions in his youthfulness before marriage. My youngest wants to become a mechanical engineer, so he started college at 15. Will he stay the course? Time will tell. My eldest started college at 16 because it gave a larger pool of options to bounce around than high school. There was no predicting which field he wanted to continue until well into his second year. My middle son went four years in high school. There was no way I could have predicted their actions. My postulate that (LMH may mean “unknown” making a man’s way in it one of exploration, gives the same sort of jerky, unpredictable motion. It fits the parallelism of the rest of the verse. I’m not wedded to my proposal: the LXX meaning ha
> s the added advantage that it could be a varient on (LWMYM, a word already known.
>So what is DRK GBR B(LMH ?
>Karl W. Randolph.
I will risk a charge of sexism by pointing out that young women are just 
as unpredictable as air, rock and sea conditions, and as young men - and 
young men's response to young women's unpredictability is just as 
unpredictable as the responses of eagles, snakes and sea captains. So 
your analogy gives excellent support for the interpretation of DRK GBR 
B(LMH as "the way of a man with a girl".

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

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