[b-hebrew] Proverbs 8:21 Y$

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Oct 15 23:11:31 EDT 2003

Dear Peter:

Thanks. My guess from just the form led to a definition of “existance”, but the verse seems to be calling for more. Bringing in the Azerbaijani meaning that the definition also has the concept of possessions and wealth seems to fit the context perfectly.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 14/10/2003 18:12, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >To All:
> >
> >Here is a question as to the definition of a word.
> >
> >Proverbs 8:21 Y$ appears to be a noun. As far as I can tell, this is the only use of this lexeme in Tanakh where it appears to be a noun.
> >
> >The dictionary I have here gives no clue as to its possible meaning, is there any definition in other dictionaries? Cognate languages?
> >
> >I know the usual definition is “there is” and it is rather common in Tanakh with this meaning, but in this verse the context seems to call for a different definition.
> >
> >Any thoughts?
> >
> >Karl W. Randolph.
> >  
> >
> BDB, for what it's worth, defines Y"$ as a noun "being, substance, 
> existence", quoting this verse only for the nominal sense but 
> considering the common sense "there is" as a secondary sense of the 
> noun, presumably with an implied verb "to be". But no evidence from 
> other languages is quoted for the noun sense.
> This double sense may seem improbable at first sight, but actually 
> exactly the same double sense occurs in Azerbaijani, where "var" 
> basically means "existence" but with the secondary meaning "possessions, 
> riches" (and "varlı" means "rich"), but also, with an optional 
> equivalent of "is", is the regular way of saying "there was".
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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