[b-hebrew] GDD (was not: Self-mutilation)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Oct 7 16:03:56 EDT 2004

Dear Karl and Yigal,

>What I object to here is the giving of a unique definition to a term 
>without good reason.
>An example of a good reason is GZR in Esther 2:1. In all other 
>Hebrew uses GZR has the meaning of severing, but here that makes 
>absolutely no sense. But recognizing that the Jews living under 
>Persian rule in Susa probably knew Aramaic better than Hebrew, and 
>that the use here is the same as the Aramaic use, GZR here is an 
>Aramaic loan word into the Hebrew text.
>But in Jeremiah 5:7 GDD does make sense as incising as part of 
>idolatry, which is the context leading into this verse,  consistant 
>with 1 Kings 18 as well. This is consistant with the total context 
>of Tanakh. Whether you trust Tanakh or not is immaterial to the 
>analysis of lexeme use within Tanakh.

HH: Karl's interpretation combines the ideas of prostitution with 
cutting oneself. That is a combination I have not seen. The cutting 
spoken of in the Bible is associated with mourning and desperate 
pleas to a god. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew lists two roots 
for GDD. Karl is thinking of GDD II, but GDD I is listed separately 
with the meaning "band together." The word is listed in the 
dictionary for Jer 5:7 and also Jer 30:23. It also appears as a Qal 
at Ps 94:21 and as a variant at Ps 59:4 (1 MS, Jerome, and Targum). A 
related noun is GDWD ("troop").

				Harold Holmyard

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