[b-hebrew] Translating Ezekiel 16:26

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Sat Jul 30 20:29:00 EDT 2005

On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 13:10:21 -0700 "Heard, Christopher"
<Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu> writes:
> I am working through Ezekiel and I am not sure how to take the phrase 
> ???? ??? [GDLY B&R] "those being great of flesh" in Ezekiel  
> 16:26. It's clear enough from the context that the speaker is  
> referring to male genitalia, and the use of ??? [B&R] in Ezekiel  
> 23:20 confirms this. However, I am not sure whether to understand  
> ???? ??? [GDLY B&R] as a reference simply to large genitalia  
> per se, or to _enlarged_ genitalia, that is, erections. NIV, NRSV,  
> and JPS all take it in the latter sense, and translate it as  
> "lustful." The LXX has a fairly literalistic translation,  
> ?e?a??s????? [MEGALOSARKOS], "big-fleshed." Neither the  
> Hebrew word-pair nor the Greek word appear elsewhere in the Tanakh 
> or  
> LXX, so I don't have any comparative data there to work with. Does  
> anyone know of any good evidence, e.g. uses of the Hebrew phrase or  
> Greek word in extra-biblical sources, or similar phrases in cognate  
> languages, that would help me solidify this translation, or is it an 
> irreducible ambiguity? Anybody know why NIV, NRSV, JPS read this as  
> they do?
> --
> R. Christopher Heard
> Assistant Professor of Religion
> Pepperdine University
> Malibu, California 90263-4352
> http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard
> http://www.iTanakh.org
> http://www.semioticsandexegesis.info

The phrase WaT.:F:Y"K: )eT_RaG:LaYiK: "you spread your legs" in the
preceding verse would seem to imply a sexual activity and thus an erect
penis would seem to be referenced.  I somewhat doubt that the prophet
would have been concerned with the mere physical size of their genitalia
aside from the reason for its size. 


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