[b-hebrew] Offend/dealt corruptly - chet bet lamed (nehemiah1:7)

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Jun 27 23:32:42 EDT 2004


Peter:

With “bear” I looked at its uses and found widely divergent meanings depending on contexts. Looking at cognate languages verified that I was dealing with different roots. (I could have looked at the history of English language and arrived at the same conclusion, but the above is assuming the situation with Hebrew, where we don’t have the history.)

However, with XBL חבל within Biblical Hebrew, I have not found widely divergent meanings. Therefore, I see no need to go to cognate languages to look for different roots. That Arabic, for example, has two roots becomes irrevelant if all uses in Biblical Hebrew can be seen as expressions of one root.

Karl W. Randolph.  

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 25/06/2004 16:28, Karl Randolph wrote:
> 
> >...
> >“Bear” in English comes from at least two, if not three, roots. ...
> >
> 
> But how do you know this? Perhaps just from the meaning - but not 
> necessarily, the animal "bear" could have been so called because it 
> carries (bears) heavy loads or can survive (bear) cold winters. And I 
> suspect that this is the kind of explanation you would look for if you 
> found a similar case in Hebrew. But in fact we know that the animal 
> "bear" comes from a different root because it has different cognates in 
> other Indo-European languages e.g. German "bär" vs. "(ge)bier-t", 
> Swedish "björn" vs. "bär-a" etc.
> 
> So similarly with a Hebrew root like XBL. We might be able to squeeze 
> the attested meanings into being based on a single root. But evidence 
> from related languages like Arabic suggests that there are in fact two 
> separate roots. While we can't be sure perhaps, we need to take that 
> evidence seriously.
> 
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
> 

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