[b-hebrew] GDD (Self-mutilation)

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Oct 5 13:43:57 EDT 2004


Unless there is good reason that demands a different, unique definition for a lexeme than its standard meaning, even in difficult situations I think it is better to ask if this is an indirect statement, or one with an ideomatic phrase or other such. (Allowing for a different definition for each semantic domain serves to hide ideomatic phrases, irony, satire, and other literary devices.)

Given the frequent prophetic statements that the service of other gods was, to use the KJV term "a-whoring", in other words committing adultary and prostitution, and further that the context is one where the people are worshipping other gods where some of the common practices are ritual prostitution, scarification and mutilation (in other words, we are not talking about common sex with a prostitute), is there any reason to insist on a unique reading of GDD in Jeremiah 5:7? I don't see it.

The context soes not demand a different definition.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> > Is the word used in Jeremiah 5:7 from GDD meaning cutting out or possibly
> hitpolel of GWD to despoil. I personally understand it as meaning "house of
> prostitution self mutilates" using the metaphore that the people serving
> other gods are like prostitutes, and in that service of other gods they
> practice scarification and other self mutilation condemned in Torah. (The
> phrase lacks the word "in" so the idea of being "in a house of prostitution"
> doesn't fit.)
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> Karl,
> GDD means "to cut". The whole idea of hitpael is that it is reflexive - it
> is what you do to yourself. So "hitgoded" CAN mean "to cut yourself", either
> purposely or by accident.
> But in the case of Jeremiah 5:7, the context does not call for "self
> mutilation". What they are doing in the Beyt Zonah is paralleled to
> "yin)afu" - committing adultery. "Yitgodadu" means "making themselves
> Gedud". In English you might say "trooping to the brothel".
> The fact that the sentence doesn't have an "in" is no problem. The
> preposition is often left out, especially in verse. Look at Zech. 6:10: "and
> come [into] the house of ...".
> Yigal
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