[b-hebrew] 'Prophesying' 1 Samuel 18:10

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Tue Jul 6 12:17:54 EDT 2004


Dear Peter,

>>HH: This is the verb NB) in the Hithpael. Here below are the places 
>>where it occurs. You can look at them yourself. The Dictionary of 
>>Classical Hebrew gives "rave" as the meaning for the verb at 1 Sam 
>>18:10. Note the possible association of the verb with madness:
>>
>>Jer. 29:26  'The LORD has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada 
>>to be in charge of the house of the LORD; you should put any madman 
>>who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons.
>>
>>HH: The Hebrew in Jer 29:26 for "madman who acts like a prophet" is 
>>two participles linked by the waw conjunction. There is some 
>>legitimate prophecy in the list below, but there is also a good 
>>deal of false prophecy, which sometimes involves raving type 
>>activities:
>>
>>1Kings 18:29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic 
>>prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was 
>>no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
>>
>>HH: There are also a considerable number of one-time prophetic 
>>activities that resemble being possessed more than normal prophecy. 
>>Since NB) in the Qal is the normal word for prophesy, the Hithpael 
>>may carry some special flavor to it. "The Hithpael may denote 
>>esteeming or presenting oneself in a state, sometimes without 
>>regard to the question of truthfulness" (Waltke and O'Connor, 
>>_Biblical Hebrew Syntax_, 26.2f). So somebody may pretend to be 
>>something. He may present himself as something either truthfully or 
>>not truthfully.
>>
>Harold, I have reviewed your list of references and I am left far 
>from convinced that there is anything inherently wrong in this kind 
>of prophecy.

HH: I agree with you. I never said there was something inherently 
wrong implied by the Hithpael use of NB). Remember, I said: "There is 
some legitimate prophecy in the list below, but there is also a good 
deal of false prophecy, which sometimes involves raving type 
activities."

HH: All that you wrote seems good to me. Yet if one is possessed by 
an evil spirit, he is not prophesying in the normal sense. So "rave" 
or "act like a prophet" might be the way to translate. I said that 
the Hithpael can suggest: "He may present himself as something either 
truthfully or not truthfully." Specifically Waltke and O'Connor said 
that one esteems or presents "oneself in a state, sometimes without 
regard to the question of truthfulness."

					Yours,
					Harold Holmyard



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