[b-hebrew] War machines and missiles in 2 chronicles

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Mar 7 23:45:40 EST 2004


But Peter: 
 
Here is a case where the root has the meaning of sending out, and the context is that of weaponry, putting two 
and two together we get four, i.e. this is weaponry that is sent out, namely projectiles (or missiles). The concept 
of projectiles also fits the context. To use the generalized term "weapon", though technically correct, is a tad 
misleading. 
 
When trying to learn a language, it is harder to learn vocabulary when all synonyms are given the same 
definition. For example, there are about a dozen synonyms for RAH to look, see, in Tanakh. If all are defined 
with the generalized term "to look, see", how is the student to keep them straight? But if $ZP is defined as to 
glimpse for a moment, $QP as to look down from a height to a lower place, and so forth, it is not only easier to 
learn, but it brings out the meaning better. 
 
Then there are terms that often have a moral meaning, but actually have a different root meaning. Among those 
are X+) [chet tet alep] which is usually translated as sinning, but there are a few times where its root meaning of 
to err, miss the mark aimed at is the better translation (almost the exact same meaning as hamartanein in New 
Testament Greek). Similarly, R( has the root meaning of being displeased, not evil. I doubt the purchaser was 
saying "evil evil" in Proverbs 20:14, but it does make sense when he says he is displeased. 
 
True, there are some terms whose definitions have been almost totally forgotten, others where we have only 
clues towards a definition, but I think it is better to indicate the more specific definition that the context and roots 
point to, than just to give a generalized definition. And if we are not sure, admit, at least in lexicons and to 
students of B-Hebrew, that we are not sure, but this is what we think the meaning is. 
 
I agree with you that we should not be more specific than our understanding, but at the same time, it is not good 
to be more general than our understanding either. 
 
Karl W. Randolph. 
 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> 
> On 05/03/2004 22:42, Karl Randolph wrote: 
>  
> >... 
> > 
> >While there are a lot of words where we still have only a general idea of what a term means, that is not an 
excuse to take only a general term, we should be as specific as we can. ... 
> > 
>  
> Indeed. My point was that we should not be MORE specific than our  
> understanding allows us to be. 
>  
>  
> --  
> Peter Kirk 
> peter at qaya.org (personal) 
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work) 
> http://www.qaya.org/ 
>  
-- 
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