[b-hebrew] The islands

Reinier de Blois r.de.blois at solcon.nl
Tue Jun 8 08:59:37 EDT 2004

Dear Vadim,

> I'm not sure how do you read Is23:2, but it seems to me that 
> Zidonians crossed the sea to replenish the islanders. So the 
> islands are offshore. cf. big waters in the next verse.

I agree that that is a possible reading too. Mine is just as possible. I
have eight English versions before me here, including NJPS, who all
follow the same interpretation, interpreting SOXER as "trader" and the
phrase SOXER TSIDON "trader of Sidon" as an apposition to YOSHEBEY )I.
Unless they are all wrong, of course.
> Hebrew is not a dead language, nor it had ever been. A line 
> of Hebrew-speaking Jews never ceased in millennia. This is 
> the oldest living language. Consider that Masorets knew even 
> the cantillations; how much more certainly they knew the 
> meaning of the words! If for millennia islands were islands, 
> then there is a very high burden, indeed, to translate them 
> as coastland.

Who says islands were islands for millenia?

> I don't take an appeal to the translation authorities, such 
> as NJPS, as an argument.

"Island" is a translation already. On whose authority? 

Best wishes,


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