[b-hebrew] Interpretation of Biblical Hebrew, or Harold, is this your methodology?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Jul 10 03:54:08 EDT 2004

On 09/07/2004 23:27, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> ...
>> Concerning Proverbs 1:19, )RX has as its root meaning the concept of 
>> travelling long distances from place to place. Path or way, at least 
>> in American English, has the concept of being only local. What word 
>> would you use to carry road and long distance travel?
> HH: You disagree with the lexicons again. The verb )RX in BDB means to 
> wander, journey, go. In DCH it is journey or go, with the participle 
> meaning wanderer, traveller. Yet both lexicons state that the noun )RX 
> means way or path. Perhaps they felt that the noun had a specific 
> sense according to its contexts. BDB says that only in Judges 5:6 does 
> the word have the sense of highways. So your limitation seems 
> unnecessary. I am used to the word having the meaning path.

Karl may well have a good point here. We are used to travelling long 
distances on wide highways (or by air!) and so a narrow path suggests 
something local. But in ancient times even the most important highways 
may well have looked more like paths to us. So while "path" may be the 
most accurate translation from a purely denotational perspective, it may 
also have misleading connotations of short distance and short duration 
travel. And so "road" might be a better translation, at least in more 
metaphorical contexts where what is in focus is not the width and 
surface of the path/road but the length of the journey.

In the UK we have long distance paths or footpaths, for those who want 
to walk in the countryside, and so paths are not necessarily local. What 
would you call such things in the USA? Trails? That might work in some 

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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