[b-hebrew] Translating Ezek 23:20 (was Ezekiel 16:26)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sun Jul 31 15:56:17 EDT 2005

Yes, Kelton, you make a good point. I had not noticed the suffix.

>Hey Harold, the problem that I see with 'lovers 
>or paramours' is the relative clause which 
>follows.  Ok, 'she lusted after *their* 
>(masculine plural) lovers. (feminine plural), 
>whose flesh was the flesh of donkeys.
>If we translate this as concubine or lovers in 
>the normal sene, then I think we are talking 
>about homosexuality.  If she lusted after the 
>mens lovers (women/concubine).  And that does 
>not make sense.  Then it goes on to say that the 
>lovers had flesh, the flesh of donkeys.
>That really does not make sense to me.  How can 
>concubines women have the flesh of a donkey? 
>That is why I think that PILAG:$"HEM should be 
>translated as genitials or something related to 
>Because she lusted after it, then the relative 
>clause seems to say something futher about it.

HH: Daniel Block, in his NICOT commentary on 
Ezekiel, suggests that the quadriliteral 
structure of the word points to a non-Semitic 
origin, perhaps Philistine. He says that "given 
the obscurity of its etymology and the uniqueness 
of Ezekiel's usage, the meaning of the word 
remains unclear." However, he agrees with you 
that the connotation of the word is sexual here, 
and he translates Ezek 23:20, "And she craved 
copulation with them, . . . ." He comments about 
concubines that their main function seems to have 
been to gratify the sexual desires of the 
man/husband. So perhaps the word could imply 
something like sexual favors in Ezek. 23:20.

					Harold Holmyard

>Kelton Graham
>KGRAHAM0938 at comcast.net
>-------------- Original message --------------
>>  Kelton, "paramours" or "lovers" is what the first
>>  word implies according to translations or
>>  dictionaries I've seen. It is "concubine" in the
>>  feminine, but that's what concubines were, too:
>>  lovers or paramours.
>>  >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,
>>  >> µεÎ"αλοσάρκος [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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