[b-hebrew] Vocalization of wnr)h 1Sam 1:22

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Sep 15 15:07:54 EDT 2003


On 15/09/2003 11:19, CS Bartholomew wrote:

>...
>Robert Alter translates it as an active QAL, "We will see the LORD's
>presence ... 
>...
>  
>
I wonder if the key issue here is not so much the form of the verb as 
the meaning of pene-YHWH. Of  course this is "literally" "the face of 
YHWH", but as everyone knows (certainly now, not so sure about Samuel's 
time) God doesn't have a literal face but only a metaphorical one. And 
it seems that in biblical Hebrew panim, when referring to YHWH and to 
important humans, tends to refer not so much to the physical face as to 
the presence. Thus to "see the face" of a king is to be admitted into 
his presence or his audience chamber. So similarly to "see the face" of 
YHWH may simply mean to come to the tabernacle, which is the place of 
his presence and his audience chamber. See BDB sense I 2b of panim and 
the list of references there, as well as sense II 2.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/





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