[b-hebrew] BLG in Jer. 8:18

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Jul 27 03:18:05 EDT 2004

The first word of Jer. 8:18, "MBLYGYTY on (or for) sorrow". AV translates "When I would comfort myself against sorrow". NRSV has "My joy is gone, grief is upon me". 

The root BLG is very rare. In Amos 5:9, Hammavlig is "that stengtheneth" in AV and "who makes... flash out" in NRSV. In Ps. 39:14 (13 in Engish), Ve)avligah is "that I may recover strength" in AV and "that I may smile again" in NRSV. The same form in Job 9:27 is "and confort myself" in AV and "and be of good cheer" in NRSV; while for Job 10:20 AV has "that I may take comfort" while NRSV has "find... comfort" with a note that "Heb: That I may brighten up".

The Jewish commentators, such as Kimhi, seem to understand the word as meaning "to hold back", "I hold back my sorrow". This, by the way, is the meaning that has been adopted into modern Hebrew.

So: does BLG mean strength, comfort, cheer, sorrow or holding back?


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