[b-hebrew] 1 Sam 5:6 ; Mice & Rats & Plague

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Mon May 3 14:12:57 EDT 2004

Greetings Chemorion,

This a text critical question, an English version question and a lexical
semantic question. I will take the easy one first, the English versions* of
the more formal sort translate this constituent: "moles."

The text critical issue:

>... what
> could be the major cause for the  correction of  "xpor perot" to
> "xaparparot"? 

Perhaps we should invert this question. What would cause the editors of the
MT to split the word in two? 1QIsa(a) has lxprprym, Theodotian has parparwq
(farfaroth) the LXX OG has tois mataiois, Aquila oruktais, Sym. akarmois.
The LXX OG can be probably be safely ignored, the OG text of Isa. raises
more problems than it solves. However Theodotian and 1QIsa(a) lend support
to the single word reading. J.Oswalt (NICOT, Isa) suggests that the MT made
a mistake by dividing a noun which was formed on a reduplicated pattern. I
find this comment intriguing. Does Hebrew have reduplicated patterns? Greek
of course has lots of reduplication but I wasn't aware that it was a common
characteristic of Hebrew. Is it???

lexical semantic issue

This is outside of my field, but I noted that both E.J.Young (NICOT, Isa)
and K&B (HALOT) mention a shrewmouse which was an object of worship in Egypt
and frequently mummified.

If I had to choose between rat and mole,  I would probably go with mole. I
don't have an elaborate defense for this choice but it has to do with
semantic parallelism between moles and bats, their blindness and living in
dark holes, etc.  

kol tuv,
Clay Bartholomew 
* RSV, NRSV, NKJV, NASB (1970 ed.), ASV, KJV, TEV, NJB, NAB.

On 5/3/04 5:37 AM, "Chemorion" <chosefu_chemorion at wycliffe.org> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I am in the process of translating the book of Isaiah into the Sabaot
> language. I need some clarification from both Hebrew and English experts on
> Isaiah 2:20, the written phrase "laxpor perot" which is corrected to be read
> as "laxaparparot". Without the preposition, the corrected word the reads
> "xaparparot" , which makes me ask two rather basic questions: First, what
> could be the major cause for the  correction of  "xpor perot" to
> "xaparparot"? Secondly, what is the most accurate meaning of this word; does
> it mean a rodent, rat, or mole? It is somewhat confusing when English
> translations do not agree, for example CEV translates it as "rats", NIV says
> "rodents", and NLT says "moles". Sabaot language does not have a general
> term such as "rodents" but there is a clear distinction between a rats and a
> moles.
> Chemorion Chosefu

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