[b-hebrew] Zech 6:8

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 10 15:49:53 EST 2005

Herman & Karl,
Thanks for the advice. I have been wavering about signing up for the recent online Weingreen course. Now I will do it. Since I've said it in front of you all, I'll have to do it.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Herman Meester
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 6:16 PM
To: Karl Randolph
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Zech 6:8

Karl, Steve,

I think it may be possible to have some sort of access to the biblical texts
by means of a theological dictionary. However, to just learn Hebrew is much
less time-consuming than to study the Hebrew text via an English
translation, based on more or less arbitrary choices of translations. Hebrew
is the short-cut! I mean, here in my tiny appartment I think I have about
four English translations of Tanach, I think Jewish Publication Society,
ArtScroll's Stone ed., New English Bible (I guess a text backed by many
churches in the UK), and the New Revised Standard Version. All of those have
their own advantages and disadvantages, but would all of those require their
own theological dictionary?

Style is one thing, but what do we do with a word like תבה teva?
In Genesis 6,14, "Stone" translates תבה "Ark", NRSV, JPS, NEB translate
In Exodus 2,3, "Stone", NRSV, JPS, and NEB translate תבה "basket".
Then we have another word, ארון aron.
In Deuteronomy 10,1, "Stone", JPS and NSVB translate ארון "ark"; NEB
translates "a woorden chest, an ark".

How does a theological dictionary resolve this confusing matter? If you take
such a book and look for the word "ark", does it say that both Hebrew תבה
and ארון are, in different contexts, rendered "ark", ánd does it also say
that one of the words that are sometimes translated "ark", i.e. תבה, are
sometimes translated "basket"? If it gets so complicated, surely learning
Hebrew is a lot simpler. It's not thát difficult a language, there is quite
some logic in it, and you don't have to acquire active knowledge, since you
won't meet any native speakers of Biblical Hebrew ;)

Best regards,

2005/12/9, Karl Randolph <kwrandolph at email.com>:
> Dear Steve:
> You sound like you have read too much theological works
> whereas I am simply a linguist. Theologians like too much
> (for my tastes) to make mountains out of molehills, often to
> defend predetermined outcomes. I don't own a theological
> dictionary, and after looking at a few definitions in one or
> two, I have been inoculated against ever wanting one.
> Whereas English has grammaticized tense, Hebrew has
> grammaticized mode and aspect: modes such as simple
> active, stative, causative and their passives, and reflexive;
> and aspect. The claim that these grammaticizations lead
> to completely different definitions doesn't make sense,
> unless your argument is that what I understand as
> grammaticizations are really indicators for different
> lexemes.
> As for Zachariah 6:8, the unpointed text gives no
> indication that this is a Hiphil verb, nor does the context.
> The context indicates that this is a Qal verb, with the
> person to whom the cry was made being indicated by the
> accusative pronoun. As a Qal verb, there is no question
> as to what the verse means, as a Hiphil, it leads to the
> convoluted long discussion we've been having. Why
> should we not recognize that this verse is another place
> where the Masoretes got the points wrong?
> As a translator, you might make such a case that a hiphil
> grammaticization translates better using a different verb,
> but in this case a translator speaks, not a linguist
> analyzing the language itself.
> Your argument was hurt by your admission, "SM: Herman,
> thanks very much. I did not know any of this. I can only
> read English. I cannot read Hebrew, whether pointed or
> not, well enough to understand it without helps."
> In conclusion, it looks as if you are trying to defend a
> theological dictionary, not the Hebrew text.
> Yours, Karl W. Randolph.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Steve Miller" <smille10 at sbcglobal.net>
> >
> > Thanks Karl,
> > I appreciate your sharing the word $W(. This word is very similar to
> Z(Q,
> > often used in the same verse. The difference seems to me to be that $W(
> > involves humbling oneself while Z(Q does not.
> >
> > All the examples you give below where Z(Q does not mean a cry for help
> or in
> > distress are not the Qal form. The Qal form always is a cry for help or
> in
> > distress. The Niphal and Hiphil forms are derived from the Qal, but
> would
> > not be expected to have the same meaning as the Qal.
> >
> > The Niphal is always to be assembled for an emergency. That is the case
> in
> > Judges 18:22-23. To be assembled for an emergency is to be made to hear
> a
> > cry for help.
> >
> > The Hiphil is the question. One meaning is to assemble people or things
> for
> > an emergency, the exact active form of the Niphal. This is the case in
> > Judges 4:13. Sisera assembled his chariots because he was being attacked
> by
> > Barak.
> >
> > But there is at least one Hiphil that cannot mean "assemble" (Job 35:9).
> > Jonah 3:7 probably means the king caused the people to cry out. Or maybe
> it
> > could mean that the king assembled the people, but there is no direct
> > object. In either case it was for an emergency. They believed Jonah's
> > message that God was going to destroy them.
> >
> > The Theological Wordbook of the OT says re. Z(Q: 'The basic meaning of
> this
> > root is "to cry for help in time of distress."  It is used mainly in the
> > QAL, but occurs a few times in the Niphal and Hiphil, where it carries
> > distinctive meanings. ...
> > In the Qal stem, the word is used almost exclusively in reference to a
> cry
> > from a disturbed heart, in need of some kind of help. The cry is not in
> > summons of another, but an expression of the need felt. ... In only one
> > instance is the idea of summons involved, and that is when Jephthah
> called
> > for Ephraimites to assist him against the Ammonites (Jud. 12:2). This is
> > still a cry for help.'
> > Yours,
> > -Steve
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Karl Randolph Wednesday, December 07, 2005 12:50 PM
> >
> > Steve:
> >
> > I will back up HH in this. Z(Q, though often used in the
> > context that such a cry was a cry for help, was not in itself
> > a cry for help. The word for "to cry for help" is $W(.
> >
> > In Judges 4:13, Siserah cried out, giving commands as
> > the commander, this was not a cry for help. Again in
> > Jonah 3:7 the king cried out, giving commands.
> >
> > In Judges 18:22-23, Mikah"s crying out was one of
> > complaint, that the tribe of Dan was stealing from him.
> > He was not calling out to them for help.
> >
> > Now if I did a full study of all the occurrences, I expect to
> > find many more such examples. Basically, the verb means
> > to cry out, and the context tells what is the content of that
> > crying out.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> --
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