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

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Jun 30 19:04:15 EDT 2004


Let’s go back to your example of bear: in Norwegian å bære means to carry. As far as I know, it has only that meaning (Rolf can correct me on this). Just because the English has two roots corresponding to the same lexeme is immaterial to Norwegian, especially since a bjørn corresponds to the second English root. Norwegians studying English can speculate if the English word bear originally had one root that later became almost unrecognizable as it split apart in meaning, or if two roots merged into the same pronunciation and spelling, as history shows was the case.

As for the Hebrew use of XBL חבל within Tanakh, I see only one root expressed. In Aramaic the same spelling but a different root. In Arabic, two roots, one corresponding to Hebrew, the other Aramaic. In Mishnaic and later Hebrew (from discussions on this list) apparently use the Aramaic term as a loan word, in the same way as Esther 2:1 uses GZR with the Aramaic meaning instead of the Hebrew meaning.

Were both roots in proto-Semitic? If not, which was the original root? The earliest writings we have show Aramaic with one root, Hebrew with another, and later Arabic had both.

Karl W. Randolph.

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

> On 27/06/2004 20:32, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >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.)
> >  
> >
> Maybe. But all that this proves is that "bear", which was not my choice 
> of example, is not the best example I could have chosen. There are 
> certainly better examples in English, of homonyms and apparent 
> derivatives which could easily be slightly divergent senses from the 
> same root, but are can in fact be proved to be from quite different 
> roots. Just one random example but again not an ideal one: "potluck". 
> Here in the UK I guess almost anyone would suggest a derivation from 
> "luck", and perhaps "pot" in the sense that you put a ladle into a pot 
> and take your chance as to what comes out. But in fact the word is known 
> to be a loan from a Native American language.
> >However, with XBL &#1495;&#1489;&#1500; 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.
> >
> >  
> >
> My example of "potluck" shows that the lack of apparent need to look for 
> different roots does not imply that the different roots do not exist.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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