[b-hebrew] euphamism, was 2Sam24:1 subjects

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Wed Aug 10 12:46:09 EDT 2005

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:43:00 -0500 "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "George F Somsel" <gfsomsel at juno.com>
> > ...
> > ______________
> > ...
> > 
> > As regards the touching of the "feet" with the foreskin, it is 
> entirely
> > possible that this is actually a reference to touching Moses' 
> privates.
> > Such euphemisms are not uncommon (see the book of Ruth where she 
> uncovers
> > Boaz' "feet").
> > 
> > Why would Z know that the act of circumcision (and its symbolic
> > transference to Moses by touching his "feet" with the foreskin)?  
> We are
> > not told.  It would probably be a matter of "common knowledge" at 
> the
> > time.
> > 
> > george
> > gfsomsel
> George, where do you get this euphemism?
> In the case with Ruth and Boaz, Boaz was sleeping outdoors. 
> Outdoors nights are often cool, so it is hard to believe 
> that Boaz did not cover himself, feet included, with a 
> cloak or blanket brought along for that very purpose. 
> Notice, Naomi expected that Boaz would be sleeping next 
> to the threshing floor, so this was planned for, not 
> spontaneous as a drunken stupor. So from the text, there 
> is no justification from the text for such an euphemism.
> Karl W. Randolph.


Cf. Dt. 25.11

K.iY_YiN.fCW. ):aNf$iYM YaX:D.fW )iY$ W:)fXiYW W:Q:aR:BfH )"$eT Hf)eXfD
L:HaC.iYL )eT_)iY$.fH. MiY.aD MaC."HW. W:$fL:XfH YfDfH. W:HeX:eZiYQfH
B.iM:Bu$fYW . . .

Here the term for genitals is from BW$ or "shame" which is the same as
the root which is substituted for Baal in many names.  It was thus a
practice to use a euphemism.  You may read an expurgated TANAK if you
like, but you're missing the point.

The TDNT notes this euphemism and HALOT states

—4. a. dual, probably a euphemism for the pubic region Ex 4?25 Is 6?2,
cf. Wildberger BK 10:248 (see below, B CSH pi.), %a(aR HfRaG:LfYiM pubic
hair Is 7?20; —b. SCK: )eT_RaG:LfYW he covered his feet with a garment,
meaning he relieved himself Ju 3?24 1S 24?4 (? SCK: hif); —c. $fTfH
M"YM"Y RaG:L"YHeM (Q), $iYN"YHeM (K) = MHeb. M"Y RaG:LaYiM to drink their
own urine (? *$aYiN) 2K 1827/Is 36?12. 


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