[b-hebrew] Translating Ezekiel 16:26

kgraham0938 at comcast.net kgraham0938 at comcast.net
Sun Jul 31 00:05:11 EDT 2005

I think it is refering to their genitials based on Ezekiel 23:20.  The only trouble is translating PILAG:$"YHEM in Ez 23:20.  I think that it is refering to the Egyptians 'genitals' as opposed to their concubines, because that does not make sense to me. But the pronoun is masculine, so it is something belonging to the men.  So I think the relative clause here is futher describing PILAG:$"YHEM .  So Israel lusted after their genitials, which was the flesh (genitial size) of a donkey.

So, tracing back to Ez 16:26, even though the context is fornication, I think  mentioning the size here points to the inticement of the Egyptians.  Israel was so blinded by lust, that she went after what she really desired, namely what attracted her eyes.

And maybe the reason why the NIV and other translators, translate this as lust is because of censorship.  I mean I'd have a hard time publishing this one.

Kelton Graham 
KGRAHAM0938 at comcast.net

-------------- Original message -------------- 

> I am working through Ezekiel and I am not sure how to take the phrase 
> גדלי בשר [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 בשר [B&R] in Ezekiel 
> 23:20 confirms this. However, I am not sure whether to understand 
> גדלי בשר [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, 
> µεγαλοσάρκος [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 
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