[b-hebrew] b-hebrew Digest, Vol 32, Issue 58

Assaf Voll assaf at nir-ezion.co.il
Tue Aug 30 17:35:26 EDT 2005


How can I cancel my mail address?

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Subject: b-hebrew Digest, Vol 32, Issue 58


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> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. Re: XSD (Karl Randolph)
>   2. Re: XSD (Bill Rea)
>   3. Re: XSD (Karl Randolph)
>   4. Re: XSD (Harold R. Holmyard III)
>   5. Re: XSD (really Uriah) (Rob Barrett)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 15:41:55 -0500
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20050829204155.374188401D at ws1-5.us4.outblaze.com>
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>
> Peter:
>
> When did we have such a discussion as you claim below? I
> don't recall it.
>
> 1) I do not claim that the rule is without exceptions.
>
> 2) (RB is listed in my notes as one of the exceptions.
> This listing predates my involvement in this forum.
>
> It is possible that they may have had the same origin, but
> the data is too sparse either to prove or disprove such a
> connection. What I object to is the claim that cognate
> language data "prove" or "disprove" certain connections
> within Biblical Hebrew, especially when the cognate
> languages are much later than Biblical Hebrew, for
> example, Arabic. The main use of cognate definitions is
> for lexemes used so seldom, and in contexts where we can
> only guess at meaning, but even there treat with
> extreme caution.
>
> And how do I reject lexicographic principles? The basic
> method is to study each lexeme in its contexts to get an
> idea as to its meaning. The main difference between me
> and, let's say BDB, is that they looked at the formal
> aspects of meaning while I look for the functional aspects.
> Another difference that I see is that I compared and
> contrast synonyms and antonyms, to get a tighter handle
> on word meanings, whereas I don't see much evidence that
> they did so.
>
> Another difference is purely philosophical, as there is no
> evidence either for or against the belief that Semitic
> languages started out with all the phones now found in
> southern Arabic and the various languages lost phones over
> time, whereas I look at the historical record that
> indicates languages both lost and gained phones over time.
> Hence, some of the "evidence" from cognate languages for
> different roots may instead be evidence that some
> languages split phones, not that there were originally
> different roots in Hebrew.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
>
>>
>> On 29/08/2005 06:32, Karl Randolph wrote:
>>
>> > ...
>> >
>> > Occam?s razor says that the simplest answer is usually the
>> > correct one, not that lexemes have multiple meanings. As it is,
>> > the simplest answer is that each word, or lexeme, has one
>> > meaning, hence Occam?s razor would favor my working hypothesis.
>> >
>> > I have not advanced the theory before this recent discussion,
>> > merely used the results in previous discussions. It is
>> > interesting that when I reported the results in previous
>> > discussions, it was rare for anyone to question how I came to the
>> > results that I had. The questions were fewer than the fingers on
>> > one hand.
>> >
>> >
>>
>> Karl, we have had extensive discussions on this list before in
>> which you have repeatedly insisted on your rejection of the basic
>> principles of modern lexicography, and among more specific points
>> your rejection of evidence from cognate languages which sometimes
>> proves that there are multiple Hebrew roots with the same form. (A
>> clear exmple of this proof is that there are two roots
>> ayin-resh-bet, one meaning "evening" or "west" as in Arabic maghreb
>> "the West, North Africa", and another meaning "nomad" as in Arabic
>> `arab "Arab" - whereas presumably your method would imply that
>> Hebrew `erev "evening" and `arav "nomad, Arab" have the same
>> origin.) You have certainly had far more than five exchanges on
>> this issue with me alone.
>>
>> -- Peter Kirk
>> peter at qaya.org (personal)
>> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
>> http://www.qaya.org/
>
> -- 
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>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 09:18:06 +1200 (NZST)
> From: Bill Rea <bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID:
> <Pine.SOL.4.58.0508300846300.28356 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz>
> Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
>
> Karl wrote:-
>
>>Occam's razor says that the simplest answer is usually the correct one,
>>not that lexemes have multiple meanings.
>
> You are taking Occam's razor to the wrong part of my post. My
> question was -- Why do people continue to reject your model?
> Simplest explanation -- the evidence does not favour it.
>
> Karl further wrote:-
>
>>I have not advanced the theory before this recent discussion, merely used
>>the results in previous discussions. It is interesting that when I
>>reported the results in previous discussions, it was rare for anyone to
>>question how I came to the results that I had.  The questions were fewer
>>than the fingers on one hand.
>
> I'll take your word that you had not explictly advanced your theory
> previously. However, it was so obvious what you were doing I'm
> surprized anyone had to ask.
>
>>Again, one of my favorite commands, "Look at the context." Uriah had just
>>spent time out in the field, [snip]
>
> Recall David's words:-
>
> Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet."
>
> Feet being RGLM.
>
> Now let's look on just a few verses.
>
> 10.   Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his
> house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did
> you not go down to your house?"
> 11.  Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in
> temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are
> camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink
> and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will
>    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> not do this thing."
>
> I see Harold Holmyard agrees with you. But if you're both right
> why does Uriah explicitly mention lying with his wife if he did not
> understand David's intention for him to do precisely that.
>
> On a literary front we could say that the writer is using this to
> heighten our awareness of David's problem. He turns the heat up on
> David. But underlying any literary purpose there must be a context
> within the society it was written for. If there was no pre-existing
> connection in the minds of the readers between David's ``wash your
> feet'' in v8 and Uriah's ``lie with  my wife'' in v11 then I
> think the dialogue takes on a contrived feel.
>
> Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
> E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz               </   New
> Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332       /)  Zealand
> Unix Systems Administrator                   (/'
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 17:12:07 -0500
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20050829221207.33E24101D9 at ws1-3.us4.outblaze.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain
>
> Bill:
>
> Again, look at the context. Not just the immediate context,
> but the whole story.
>
> Secondly, just because Uriah spelled out the totality of
> what he expected should he return home, does not mean that
> the words David used even implied that totality. Now we
> know that David wanted that totality, but again the total
> context would inhibit David from _saying_ it to avoid
> suspician.
>
> Occam's razor was designed to deal with evidence, not
> human beliefs and customs. Your reaction is like the
> common, majority belief, medieval claim that the world
> is flat, even though writers since Ptolomy (if not
> earlier) showed evidence that the world is roughly
> spherical. Truth is not decided by popular vote, nor
> even by scholarly consensus. I think you misused Occam's
> razor. The simplest explanation of the evidence is that
> words have one meaning within a language, with some
> exceptions, no matter how it may be translated or what
> other people believe.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bill Rea" <bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz>
>
>>
>> Karl wrote:-
>>
>> > Occam's razor says that the simplest answer is usually the correct one,
>> > not that lexemes have multiple meanings.
>>
>> You are taking Occam's razor to the wrong part of my post. My
>> question was -- Why do people continue to reject your model?
>> Simplest explanation -- the evidence does not favour it.
>>
>> Karl further wrote:-
>>
>> > I have not advanced the theory before this recent discussion, merely 
>> > used
>> > the results in previous discussions. It is interesting that when I
>> > reported the results in previous discussions, it was rare for anyone to
>> > question how I came to the results that I had.  The questions were 
>> > fewer
>> > than the fingers on one hand.
>>
>> I'll take your word that you had not explictly advanced your theory
>> previously. However, it was so obvious what you were doing I'm
>> surprized anyone had to ask.
>>
>> > Again, one of my favorite commands, "Look at the context." Uriah had 
>> > just
>> > spent time out in the field, [snip]
>>
>> Recall David's words:-
>>
>> Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet."
>>
>> Feet being RGLM.
>>
>> Now let's look on just a few verses.
>>
>> 10.   Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his
>> house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did
>> you not go down to your house?"
>> 11.  Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in
>> temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are
>> camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to 
>> drink
>> and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will
>>      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> not do this thing."
>>
>> I see Harold Holmyard agrees with you. But if you're both right
>> why does Uriah explicitly mention lying with his wife if he did not
>> understand David's intention for him to do precisely that.
>>
>> On a literary front we could say that the writer is using this to
>> heighten our awareness of David's problem. He turns the heat up on
>> David. But underlying any literary purpose there must be a context
>> within the society it was written for. If there was no pre-existing
>> connection in the minds of the readers between David's ``wash your
>> feet'' in v8 and Uriah's ``lie with  my wife'' in v11 then I
>> think the dialogue takes on a contrived feel.
>>
>> Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
>> E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz               </   New
>> Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332       /)  Zealand
>> Unix Systems Administrator                   (/'
>
> -- 
> ___________________________________________________________
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 17:32:46 -0500
> From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <a06020406bf393890187a@[205.242.61.51]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed"
>
> Dear Bill,
>
>>Recall David's words:-
>>
>>Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet."
>>
>>Feet being RGLM.
>>
>>Now let's look on just a few verses.
>>
>>10.  Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his
>>house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did
>>you not go down to your house?"
>>11. Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in
>>temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are
>>camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink
>>and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will
>>     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>not do this thing."
>>
>>I see Harold Holmyard agrees with you. But if you're both right
>>why does Uriah explicitly mention lying with his wife if he did not
>>understand David's intention for him to do precisely that.
>
> HH: I agree with you, Bill, that it was David's
> intention for him to do precisely that, lie with
> his wife. But David could suggest the idea by
> simply telling him to wash his feet. "Wash your
> feet" can include such ideas as "make yourself at
> home, take a break, and enjoy life at home for a
> spell." This would obviously include being with
> his wife.
>
> HH: David assumed that if Uriah washed his feet, he would do it at home:
>
> 2Sam. 11:10 ? When David was told,  "Uriah did
> not go home," he asked him,  "Haven't you just
> come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?
>
> HH: Washing his feet would be something to do
> upon entering one's home to stay there. If Uriah
> were to go back to the battlefront immediately,
> he would not need to wash his feet but could just
> proceed on his way. What Uriah did was:
>
> 2Sam. 11:8 Then David said to Uriah,  "Go down to
> your house and wash your feet." So Uriah left the
> palace, and a gift from the king was sent after
> him.
> 2Sam. 11:9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the
> palace with all his master's servants and did not
> go down to his house.
>
> HH: Perhaps he washed his feet anyway, but he did
> not do what David expected him to do when he said
> those words.
>
> HH: Washing one's feet was a well known social
> institution, still strong and current in NT
> times. A widow to receive church support had to
> be one who washed the saints' feet. She gave them
> hospitality, welcoming them into her home and
> serving their needs. But people generally washed
> their own feet, and Uriah would normally go home
> to do such a thing, welcoming himself into his
> own home.
>
> HH: Washing feet does not have to equate to
> washing genitals. Feet do not serve as euphemism
> for sex organs here. The dialogue between David
> and Uriah can proceed by indirection. David gets
> his idea across without having to say it. Feet
> are still feet, but washing his feet at his home
> would lead to the other activities that David
> wanted, Uriah's having sex with his wife.
>
>>On a literary front we could say that the writer is using this to
>>heighten our awareness of David's problem. He turns the heat up on
>>David. But underlying any literary purpose there must be a context
>>within the society it was written for. If there was no pre-existing
>>connection in the minds of the readers between David's ``wash your
>>feet'' in v8 and Uriah's ``lie with  my wife'' in v11 then I
>>think the dialogue takes on a contrived feel.
>
> HH: I think the connection is the natural
> expectation that "wash your feet" would be taken
> to mean that one was to go home, freshen up, rest
> there, and enjoy home and all its comforts for a
> time (including one's wife there at home). But
> that is just what Uriah considered improper.
> Warriors abstained from sex to prepare for
> battle. I believe that is the custom David refers
> to in the words elsewhere:
>
> 1Sam. 21:5 And David answered the priest, and
> said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept
> from us about these three days, since I came out,
> and the vessels of the young men are holy, and
> the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it
> were sanctified this day in the vessel.
>
> HH: Sexual abstention was connected with holiness
> for several reasons, and Uriah evidently felt
> that being on a soldier's mission he should not
> go home to have sex with his wife.
>
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 13:11:41 +0100
> From: Rob Barrett <rcbarrett at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD (really Uriah)
> To: bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <43144CFD.7030800 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>
> Bill Rea wrote:
>
>>I see Harold Holmyard agrees with you. But if you're both right
>>why does Uriah explicitly mention lying with his wife if he did not
>>understand David's intention for him to do precisely that.
>>
>>On a literary front we could say that the writer is using this to
>>heighten our awareness of David's problem. He turns the heat up on
>>David. But underlying any literary purpose there must be a context
>>within the society it was written for. If there was no pre-existing
>>connection in the minds of the readers between David's ``wash your
>>feet'' in v8 and Uriah's ``lie with  my wife'' in v11 then I
>>think the dialogue takes on a contrived feel.
>
>
> In Sternberg's "The Poetics of Biblical Narrative", he has a fascinating
> discussion of the use of ambiguity in Hebrew narrative.  He uses this
> story as an example of extended ambiguity around the question of whether
> Uriah knew what David was/had-been up to or not (see pp. 201-9.  He
> argues that the story works both ways.
>
> If Uriah does not know, he is a simple idealist who is itching to get
> back to the battlefield where he belongs -- it is the reader who must
> generate the contrast between the simple, faithful Uriah and the ugly,
> conniving David.  This Uriah simply brings up sex as an example of what
> he must not allow himself while Israel is in battle (unlike David, of
> course).
>
> If Uriah does know, he is a complex tactician who is trying to outwit
> David.  He knows what David has done and what he wants Uriah to do, but
> he's not going to fall for it.  He knows David wants him to lie with
> Bathsheba, and he also knows that the king may have him killed at any
> moment.  But he refuses to let David's offense lie hidden, so he brings
> up David's unspoken intention in an innocent-sounding way that points
> the finger at David, as the reader watches.
>
> While one may not agree with Sternberg that both meanings are
> simultaneously intended by the narrator, both interpretations are fully
> plausible and neither demands that "feet" be read as anything other than
> "feet".
>
> (I take no stand on the larger philological debate)
>
> all the best,
> Rob
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
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> End of b-hebrew Digest, Vol 32, Issue 58
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