[b-hebrew] Proverbs 26:21 hoarse?

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Fri Sep 26 17:39:00 EDT 2003

Hi Karl,

It looks indeed like ryb refers to verbal strife.  See Exo 21:18 where
physical assault is named as a seperate and additional condition, thus
distinguishing physical strife from the verbal brand.

As for lexarxar, it looks like an infinitive to me that is in construct with
ryb.  An infinitive is very noun-like, naming an activity.    We often
represent Hebrew infinitives with English gerunds (-ing-words), which are
"nounish verbs" in English.  So I would say that xarxar refers to an
inflaming or a kindling, like what charcoal does to embers and wood does to
a small fire.  My version:  "Charcoal to embers and wood to fire; so a man
of contentions to an inflaming of argument."

According to the parallelism in the verse we have noun-lamed-noun,
noun-lamed-noun and in the third part noun-phrase-lamed-noun phrase.  It's a
nice build-up of the syntax, which complements the semantic build-up from
charcoal to embers to fire to more fire.

Shalom, Bryan

You wrote:

> 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.

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list