[b-hebrew] Offend/dealt corruptly - chet bet lamed (nehemiah 1:7)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Jun 25 12:08:38 EDT 2004

Dear George,

You wrote to Karl:

>Enough of discussing abstractly the meaning of XBL; let's have a concrete
>instance.  What do you do with
>Mic 2.10
>QW.M W.L:KW. K.iY Lo)_ZoT HaM.:NW.TfH B.a(a:BW.R +fM:)fH T.:TaB."L
>W:XeBeL NiM:RfC

HH: You may have missed this following post to me 
because it was under a different thread, but Karl 
told us what he would do with Micah 2:10. I gave 
him a whole set of verses translated by NIV with 
the meaning of "deal corruptly" and "destroy" for 
XBL. I included the Aramaic cognate verses in the 
OT. I asked Karl what he would do with the 
verses, and this is what he said:

Secondly, some examples you listed below are in 
Aramaic. I know enough Aramaic to read the 
Aramaic portions of Tanakh, and no more. Just 
because Aramaic has a particular meaning for a 
lexeme, does not mean that Hebrew had the same 
meaning: a good example being $KX 
שכח in Hebrew meant to forget, 
while in Aramaic it meant there is (found) or 
very similar to Y$ יש in Hebrew. 
Therefore, why should we expect that the Aramaic 
XBL חנל has the same meaning as 
the Hebrew lexeme? As a cognate language, we’re 
not surprised if it has the same meaning, but 
again, we’re not surprised if it doesn’t.

I don’t consider the NIV as an authority. As 
translators, their mission is not to be on the 
cutting edge of scholarship, but to follow what 
others have said before them. Furthermore, it is 
a semi-paraphrase.

XBL חנל in its various forms 
and derivitives is used around 100 times in 
Tanakh in Hebrew. The vast majority of the times 
it is no question that it refers some way to 
tying up or derivitive meanings of being 
connected with, such as the territory tied to or 
connected with  a city, the knotting up of 
muscles as in cramps or labor pangs, restrictions 
on people by requirements of repaying debts, and 
so forth. Fewer than 10% of uses is there 
question where people use the Aramaic meaning in 
Hebrew, and some of those read smoothly with the 
tied to or connected with meaning. Where we 
disagree is if tradition is correct to say that 
the Aramaic meaning is also a legitimate Hebrew 
meaning, which I question.

Isaiah 13:5 one of the meanings I recognized for 
XBL חנל is to pack up to carry 
away, in order to despoil the land.

Maybe I’m reading some of my own experiences into 
the text, but as a person who is not financially 
well off, I see how the rich are restricting my 
options as in Isaiah 32:7 (restrict is one of the 
derivitive meanings that I recognize from to knot 

Isaiah 54:16 in reference to verse 17, again I 
see ruination to those who make restrictions.

In Micah 2:12 those who act corruptly end up tying themselves into knots.

Job 17:1 My spirit is restricted, my days are set 
up as graves for me. ( Z(K זעך 
is a hapax legomai, are we sure we have the right 
meaning for it? I’m not sure of its definition. )

Job 34:31 God is not the one who says I lift up 
but I am not restricted, which I read to say that 
God finishes what he starts.

Ecclesiastes 5:5 (6) don’t make promises before 
God that you may not be able to keep, or those 
that will restrict your options, the work you can 

Nehemiah 1:7 We are surely connected to you, but 
we have not followed your commands.

				Harold Holmyard

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