[b-hebrew] Proverbs 26:21 hoarse?

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Sep 26 16:33:06 EDT 2003

To All:

This is a two part question, the answer to the first influences the answer of the second.

In Proverbs 26:21, the second half reads W)Y$ MDWNYM LXRXR RYB

The first part: what is the meaning of RYB? The dictionaries seem to mention that it is “strife, contention”. Can we narrow down what sort of strife? To me, when I looked at many uses of the word, it seems to mean a heated argument, not a strife involving physical action. Of course, heated arguments can lead to physical reaction, but not always. So what do youall say to the idea that RYB means “to argue, get into a heated argument” as a verb, and as a noun “(heated) argument”?

Assuming the first part means “argument”, what does XRXR mean? It is a hapax legomai word. One dictionary claims it is a pilpal verb from XRR. But a verbal form does not fit the pattern of the rest of the verse. From the pattern, I’m looking for an adjective for RYB. I agree that its root is XRR which means “to parch” used in Psalm 69:4 to indicate a throat becoming “parched”, i.e. hoarse from calling out, so is this heated argument so loud and protracted that its participants become hoarse?

(I understand that the LXX translated it as “goad” but I don’t think that meaning fits.)

A proposed translation of the whole verse could read, “Charcoal is to embers and wood is to fire as a judgmental man is to protracted arguments (lit. hoarse arguments)”.

Any thoughts?

Karl W. Randolph.
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