[b-hebrew] Ps 68

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Dec 19 11:26:55 EST 2005

In looking at the word meanings, how much of these 
translations are supported from the definitions of the 
words used?

(RBH refers to plains. These are contrasted with desert 
[e.g. Joshua 12:8] though elsewhere it is used in parallel 
with desert.  Where it is used in contrast to desert, it 
apparently refers to grasslands, suitable also for dry 
land farming and/or grazing.

SLW, true it comes from the root SLL which has the basic 
meaning of to raise above. Here it refers to the building of 
a highway, the actions of raising it above the surrounding 
land to make it suitable for wheeled traffic. Such an 
embanked highway is also easier to walk along.

Other words from the same root are MSLH highway, an 
embanked road suitable for wheeled traffic, SL (stackable, 
storage) basket, SLLH ramp, in ancient times a ramp was 
raised up over the moat and glacies to attack a wall 
directly, also often used of a place of refuge raised above 
and inaccessible, SLM ladder (used once), SLWN 
haughty, the attitude of being above (i.e. better) than  
others, SLSLWT trellis (used once).

>From the context, this is the action of the just, to come 
before YH to praise him.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Joel M. Hoffman" <joel at exc.com>
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Ps 68
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 10:49:54 -0500 (EST)

> I'm jumping in late, but when I translated this line, I noted the
> following:
> ``Pave the way1 for the one who rides where the sun sets2 --- his name
> being Yah3 --- and rejoice before Him.''
> 1.  From the root s.l.l, to cast a highway.  Birnbaum's ``extol''
>      reflects a common understanding of this word, an understanding
>      that dates back to the Targum's translation of Ps. 68, ``lift up a
>      song,'' from which this passage is taken.  But in light of the
>      following ``the one who rides...,'' our translation of ``pave''
>      seems much the more likely.  NRSV adds a footnote to their
>      translation ``lift up a song:'' ``Or cast up a highway.''
> 2.  Aravot.  The idea presumably is that God rides his chariot on
>      high, drawing the sun across the sky.  (We have a similar
>      expression, ``rides off into the sunset,'' but the meaning is
>      quite different.)  NRSV suggests, ``rides among the clouds.''
> 3.  A dubious translation, but one that attempts to understand the
>      Hebrew: b'yah sh'mo, literally, in/with/etc. Yah his-name.  The
>      Hebrew does not mean ``Yah is his name.''
> The translation appears in Volume I of _My People's Prayer Book_.
> "Birnbaum" is Philip Birnbaum's _HaSiddur HaShalem_.  NRSV is the New
> Revised Standard Version translation.
> -Joel M. Hoffman
>   http://www.exc.com/JoelHoffman

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