[b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Sat Jul 30 09:18:40 EDT 2005

Dear Peter,

See my comments below.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "Rolf Furuli" <furuli at online.no>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2005 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types

> On 30/07/2005 12:50, Rolf Furuli wrote:
>>Dear Peter,
>>It is fine that you ask about contradictions, so I get the opportunity to 
>>clear up things in behalf of other list-members as well. Translation is 
>>interpretation, so a translator will all the time make decisions without 
>>the knowledge of the readers. In my view such decisions should be limited 
>>as much as possible - and that is the advantage of a literal translation - 
>>and footnotes should notify the readers of different possibilities.
> Understood. Thank you.
>>One example of an ambiguous text is Psalm 22:17 K)RY YDY WRGLY, literally 
>>"like the lion my hands and my feet". Many solutions to this ambiguity 
>>have been tried:
>>NIV: "they have pierced my hands and my feet" ( LXX: "they have dug out my 
>>hands and my feet")
>>JPS: "like lions they maul my hands and feet"
>>NAB: "so wasted are my hands and my feet"
>>NET: "like a lion they pin my hands and feet to the ground"
>>NJB: "a gang of villains closing in on me as if to hack off my hands and 
>>my feet"
>>TEV: "they tear at my hands and my feet"
>>NWT: "like a lion /they are at/ my hands and my feet"
>>Poor readers!
>>I would say that the best solution here has NWT, which gives a literal 
>>rendering but adds in brackets three words that make the text legibile. 
>>The text is still ambigous, and the reader is allowed to do the 
> Well, no, because the NWT rendering rules out the alternative 
> interpretations of K)RY (based in part on alternative texts) as "they have 
> pierced", "wasted", "they tear", and perhaps "a gang of villains" although 
> perhaps this last is based on understanding "lions" as a metaphor. In fact 
> NWT even rules out the plural "lions" preferred by JPS. By choosing the 
> textual and exegetical option "like a lion", which I agree is a good one, 
> most other possibilities are ruled out, and bracketed /they are at/ is 
> almost demanded by the context. Now every translation must make such a 
> choice of one reading to put in the text, as there is no possibility in 
> English of maintaining ambiguity between "like a lion" and "they have 
> pierced". But NWT, if there is indeed no footnote here, breaches your good 
> principle that "footnotes should notify the readers of different 
> possibilities".

There is a footnote  in NWT saying:
"Like the lion - my hands and (my) feet," M; T, "Biting like a lion my hands 
and my feet"; LXXVg, "They bored (dug through) my hands and my feet."

(M= B19A, the Leningrad MSS; T = Targums; Vg = the Vulgate.


Best regards

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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