[b-hebrew] Re: Diggers

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue May 4 02:13:01 EDT 2004

By the way, BHS comments that there are some manuscripts that have one word,
as do Qumran and the translations.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 6:03 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Re: Diggers

> Interestingly enough, even Rashi, who knew very little about Near Eastern
> animals, understands Xapor Perot as "idols in the shape of Xaparperot [one
> word! - Yigal], a type of rodent that digs in the earth." He gives no
> thought to the fact that the MT divides it into two words.
> Kimhi, on the other hand, says, "The Lamed [of Laxpor] relates to Ya$lik,
> that is they will throw their idols to the burrows [Xapirot] and the holes
> of the `Atalepim [which he obvliously does not understand as bats], and
> [Targum] Yonatan understood the Lamed as relating to 'bow', since he
> translated 'they worship idols and statues', understanding them to bow to
> statues in the shape of an `Atalep. And he understood Laxpor Perot as one
> word even though it is two words, and is to be understood as a bird that
> pecks fruit. And there are those who think that it means a rodent that
> in the earth, and understand Perot as Xarirot [digs], like our rabbis
> 'Piria' meaning 'dig' and meaning that the idols shall be thrown into
> The use of the Aramaic piriah (which modern Hebrew, BTW, has adopted as
> "pir" - "shaft",or "pit") to explain the word in Isaiah, is a typical
> midrshic type of interpretation, but Prof. Feliks (who was a teacher of
> mine) will have to excuse me when I say that it is irrelevant. Kimhi's
> that LaXapor Perot means "to dig fruit" is a good attempt to explain the
> text exactly as he knew it. But I would have to assume that the original
> had one word, "Laxaparparot", with a prepositional Lamed, meaning "to the
> diggers". As to presicely what species of "digger" Isaiah would have been
> reffering to, I take Feliks' word on that.
> What I find interseting is teh fact that Rashi finds no reason to
> the fact that the text actually has two words, which he then explains as
> one. Might Rashi have been using a text in which the two words were
> combined?
> What does the Aleppo text have here?
> Yigal
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joseph I. Lauer" <josephlauer at hotmail.com>
> To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2004 12:58 AM
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Re: Diggers
> >     With regard to the meaning of "perot", Prof. Yehuda Feliks mentions
> a
> > note regarding "nefel esheth" in Psalm 58:9/8: "The ashuth, or mole, is
> also
> > called .hafarpereth in Hebrew, or as Isaiah has it, .hafor-peroth, that
> is,
> > who digs burrows (pera in Aramaic is a burrow).  The prophet describes
> (Isa.
> > 2:21) the day of God in which the pride of man will be brought low in
> > he will cast away his idols to 'the moles and to the bats'.").  Y.
> > Nature & Man in the Bible (The Soncino Press, 1981), p. 192, n. 8.
> >     In the text (p. 192), though, Prof. Feliks states that "Ashuth is
> > identical with the mole-rat, Spalax ehrenbergi, an eyeless rodent which
> > burrows in the ground and gnaws at plant roots.  In the Mishnah [Moed
> Katan
> > 1:4], ashuth is mentioned, together with mice, as a field pest."
> >     Joseph I. Lauer
> >     Brooklyn, New York
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> >
> >
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