earlier dictionaries? was [b-hebrew] Offend/dealt corruptly - chet bet lamed (nehemiah 1:7)

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sat Jul 3 02:21:56 EDT 2004

Dear Harold:

Oh no, not the little foxes again     :-)

We are going around in circles.

When you read Tanakh for pleasure or your devotions, which language do you read it in? Which is the translation that you use? Which is your favorite? Every time you bring this up, you refer to one or more translations. Why not the Hebrew text itself?

For me, I have a NIV or two around the house which I haven’t opened in months. Somewhere there is a NKJV and another translation. I don’t think there is a NASB in the house. The archaicisms in the KJV made Hebrew easier to read than it. Don’t you see, I read Hebrew, not any translation? And in some of the translations below, I disagree with far more than just XBL.

My technique is derived from my experiences learning modern languages, where I learned that most lexemes have one and only one root meaning. Therefore, when I see in all its uses that a Biblical Hebrew lexeme can be understood from one root, why look for another? In the case of XBL, fewer than 10% of uses are understood by a different root, and they can be understood with the primary meaning as well.

For Song of Songs 2:15 “Take hold for us foxes, little foxes MXBLYM vineyards, and our vineyard is in blossom.” Every URL you referenced concerning foxes and vineyards except one say that foxes do NOT damage vineyards, vines nor grape blossoms. They damage only ripe fruit, but they can cause a lot of damage. And the vineyard in Song of Songs was in blossom. But foxes prey on mice which burrow into roots and gnaw branches. They prey on damaging birds. They prey on grasshoppers and other arthropods that eat leaves and blossoms. In other words, foxes are not totally a negative to vineyards. The one exception was the Tasmanian site which claimed that Australian foxes gnaw branches as well as fruit, but it was unclear if the foxes do so to get at the fruit. And why the “take hold for us”? Since foxes don’t damage vineyards in blosssom, how does damage or corrupt fit here?

I agree that some of the verses could be read either way when read in Hebrew, but given the above understanding of languages, leads me to prefer one to the other.

Nehemiah 1  (6) 
 (prayer) for your slaves Israel’s sons but admitting 
 our error to you 
 (7) we are surely tied (joined) to you but we have not guarded your commands 
   In both verses we have the pattern God’s people, but who do not do God’s commands.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>

> Dear Karl,
> Karl: In closing, if you are unconvinced, you are unconvinced. I am
> unconvinced of the majority scholarly reading. It does not fit what I
> know of languages in general nor of Biblical Hebrew in particular. I am
> not here to enforce my understanding on others, but I will defend it
> unless you can give me good reasons not to. So far no one has.
> HH: That's why I spent so much time on Song of 
> Solomon 2:15. What translation are you going with 
> there now after all the efforts I made to justify 
> the traditional translation? This time I use 
> NASB, since you thought NIV was paraphrastic. 
> NASB and NIV basically agree in their handling of 
> XBL in all these verses.
> HH: NASB has for Song 2:15:
> "(32) Catch the foxes for us,
>            The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
>            While our (33) vineyards are in blossom."
> Karl: Isaiah 13:5 one of the meanings I 
> recognized for XBL &#1495;&#1504;&#1500; is to 
> pack up to carry away, in order to despoil the 
> land.
> HH: Would you just substitute "pack up" for "destroy"?  NASB has:
>   They are coming from a far country,
>            From the (10) farthest horizons,
>            The LORD and His instruments of (11) indignation,
>            To (12) destroy the whole land.
> HH: Can you show other verses where XBL means pack up?
> Karl: Maybe I’m reading some of my own 
> experiences into the text, but as a person who is 
> not financially well off, I see how the rich are 
> restricting my options as in Isaiah 32:7 
> (restrict is one of the derivitive meanings that 
> I recognize from to knot up).
> HH: NASB has:
> As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
>            He (11) devises wicked schemes
>            To (12) destroy the afflicted with slander,
>            (13) Even though the needy one speaks what is right.
> HH:  If we substitute your word, we get:
> As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
>            He (11) devises wicked schemes
>            To (12) restrict the afflicted with slander,
>            (13) Even though the needy one speaks what is right.
> HH: Do you think that makes sense? It gives a poor translation.
> Karl: Isaiah 54:16 in reference to verse 17, 
> again I see ruination to those who make 
> restrictions.
> HH: NASB has:
> "Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals
>            And brings out a weapon for its work;
>            And I have created the destroyer to ruin.
> 17
>         "(39) No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
>            And (40) every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
>            This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
>            And their (41) vindication is from Me," declares the LORD.
> HH: "Those who make restrictions" does not work 
> as a translation because XBL is an infinitive 
> here, not a plural participle.
> Karl: In Micah 2:12 those who act corruptly end up tying themselves into knots.
> HH: The verse with XBL is Micah 2:10, where NASB has:
>      "Arise and go,
>            For this is no place (28) of rest
>            Because of the (29) uncleanness that brings on destruction,
>            A painful destruction.
> HH: Forms of XBL occur twice. The verb is 
> feminine singular, going back to resting place. 
> Then there is a nominal form. There is no form 
> that indicates people, so your idea does not work.
> Karl: Job 17:1 My spirit is restricted, my days 
> are set up as graves for me. ( Z(K 
> &#1494;&#1506;&#1498; is a hapax legomai, are we 
> sure we have the right meaning for it? I’m not 
> sure of its definition. )
> HH: NASB has:
>   "My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished,
>            The (1) grave is ready for me.
> HH: It seems to be something a bit more serious 
> than his spirit being restricted. The idea is 
> that he feels close to death.
> Karl: Job 34:31 God is not the one who says I 
> lift up but I am not restricted, which I read to 
> say that God finishes what he starts.
> HH: NASB has:
>   "For has anyone said to God,
>            'I have borne chastisement;
>            I will not offend anymore;
> HH: Your translation is incorrect. N&) has its 
> meaning of bear guilt or punishment, not "lift 
> up." God is not the One who is talking but the 
> One who is spoken to here.
> Karl: Ecclesiastes 5:5 (6) don’t make promises 
> before God that you may not be able to keep, or 
> those that will restrict your options, the work 
> you can do.
> HH: NASB has:
>   It is (8) better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
> 6   Do not let your speech cause you to sin and 
> do not say in the presence of the messenger of 
> God that it was a (9) mistake. Why should God be 
> angry on account of your voice and destroy the 
> work of your hands?
> HH: "Restrict" seems like a weak substitute to 
> "destroy" here, and "the work of your hands" is 
> an idiom that usually refers to what one has 
> created by his work.
> Karl: Nehemiah 1:7 We are surely connected to 
> you, but we have not followed your commands.
> HH: NASB has:
> (17) We have acted very corruptly against You and 
> have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, 
> nor the ordinances (18) which You commanded Your 
> servant Moses.
> HH: You don't agree with other translations, 
> which see that a stronger idea than "connected" 
> is needed here. I can see why you might want your 
> translation, since it seems theoretically 
> possible, but verse 7 continues in simple 
> confession of sin as in verse 6.
> 					Yours,
> 					Harold Holmyard
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