[b-hebrew] The islands

Reinier de Blois r.de.blois at solcon.nl
Tue Jun 8 04:54:58 EDT 2004


Dear Vadim,

In the case of a dead language there is no such thing as an established
meaning. Who establishes the meaning of a word? The native speaker. In
this case we have no native speakers, only a limited amount of data. The
only reliable way to find out what a word (probably) means is by
studying it within its context, and that is what I have done.

If you want more proof I can refer you to Isaiah 23:2 where the traders
of Sidon and the inhabitants of the COASTLAND/ISLAND seem to be
identical.

Moreover, most recent English translations translate the Hebrew word )IY
with coastland, including the NJPS.

Best wishes,

Reinier


> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of VC
> Sent: dinsdag 8 juni 2004 9:06
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] The islands
> 
> 
> Dear Reinier,
> 
> The translation of "coastland" is perfectly reasonable. 
> However, can we disregard the established meaning of the word 
> and attach it the sense, which we think suits it better? This 
> approach can lead as far away. Besides, the Tanakhic authors 
> had pretty good grasp on geography. They probably could 
> distinguish between an island and a coastland, even more so 
> since a large part of their country was a coastland or very 
> close to it.
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Vadim Cherny
> 
> 
> > Let us not be misled by the term "islands". The Hebrew word 
> probably 
> > has a wider meaning than that. Coastland may be a much better 
> > translation. Think of Isa. 20:6, for example, which 
> probably refers to 
> > Philistea, Tyrus, or Sidon, some place near Israel. In the later 
> > chapters of Isaiah it may refer to all kinds of Greek and/or 
> > Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean.
> >
> > Let us not forget that we have good maps these days. For us the 
> > distinction between islands, peninsulas, and coastlands is 
> relevant. I 
> > doubt whether it had the same relevance for the writer of 
> > deutero-Isaiah.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> >
> > Reinier de Blois
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of 
> Noam Eitan
> > > Sent: dinsdag 8 juni 2004 1:09
> > > To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] The islands
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> wrote:
> > > On 07/06/2004 12:39, VC wrote:
> > >
> > > >Dear Listmembers,
> > > >
> > > >Just wanted to share a thought. What always puzzled me in
> > > the Tanakh -
> > > >and this turn is most often encountered in Isaiah - is the
> > > reference to
> > > >certain islands. They are clearly hostile to the Jews, ...
> > > >
> > >
> > > >Where does it say this?
> > >
> > > Many of the 36 references to Islands in the Tanakh are hostile, 
> > > particularly in the prophets. But it's not so much that 
> there is any 
> > > evidence they were hostile to the Judeans, but rather that the 
> > > prophets were hostile to them, and even this hostility was not 
> > > specific but often part of a generalized Yahwistic hostility to 
> > > other nations who will be taught a lesson one day about Yahweh's 
> > > superiority. I think Jeremiah 31:10 is emblematic - 
> 'Islands' stand 
> > > for the remotest corners of the earth (and Yahweh's message and 
> > > score settling will reach EVEN as far as the islands.) - Noam
> > > Eitan, Brooklyn, NY
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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