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

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Fri Jun 25 13:45:00 EDT 2004


On Fri, 25 Jun 2004 12:02:50 -0500 "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
writes:
> Dear George:
> 
> Of course, you had to focus on the verse that gives me the most 
> trouble    :-)
> 
> Again, the context beyond the verse can provide clues as to how to 
> read the verse. Verses 8–9 mention being captured in battle, the 
> women driven from their houses and stripped of their finery; then 
> verse 10 “Rise up and go, this is not the rest, on account of 
> impurity it was packed up (tied up to be taken away as in 
> despoiling) and land connected to the city vilified.”
> 
> A question I have is the meaning of MRC &#1502;&#1512;&#1509; a word 
> + derivitives that occures only 3 times in Tanakh, 1 Kings 2:8, Job 
> 6:25 and here. Tentatively I have the meaning of vilify. Does anyone 
> have any clues to nail down this definition?
> 
> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
_____________

The problem is that I don't think you can derive a definition for a word
which is all-inclusive from one sense.  It doesn't work that way in
English and, as far as I can see, neither does it work in any other
language.  There was a joke when I was in graduate school (not entirely
true, I assure you) that every Arabic word had four meanings :  

(1)  Its normal meaning
(2)  The precise opposite
(3)  Something obscene
(4)  Something to do with a camel

The kernel of truth in the joke is that words don't always mean the same
thing.  Take the English word "bear" as an example.  Does it refer to a
large animal?  Does it refer to an act of carrying?  Does it refer to a
movement in a designated direction ("Bear left at the fork in the road")?
Does it refer to a metaphorical carrying ("I can't bear to hear about
that")?  Of course, it has all of these significances (and perphaps more)
some of which are derived from others and some which aren't.  That's
simply the nature of language.

gfsomsel



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