[b-hebrew] Liver & Glory

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jun 7 07:10:33 EDT 2005

On 07/06/2005 06:41, tladatsi at charter.net wrote:

>In the case Gen 31:1 the context would strongly suggest 
>that the usual translation KBD as wealth seems appropriate.  
>The other three are usually translated as glory or honor 
>but the context seems less than clear to me, which is not 
>to say that liver somehow makes more sense.

KABOD = "glory" has a holam for the second vowel (contrast KABED = 
"liver" with tsere) but this holam can be either full i.e. with a vav or 
"defective" i.e. just the holam dot. In Gen 31:1, 49:6 etc the spelling 
is the "defective" one, but the pointing with holam clearly indicates 
that at least to the Masoretes this should be understood as "glory" (or 
"wealth"), not "liver". But Gen 49:6 (in parallel with NEPE$) may be a 
Masoretic pointing eror, for the Septuagint translated as "liver", TA 

As for Exodus 33:18,22, surely "glory" makes more sense than "liver". 
There are a number of cases in the Hebrew Bible where the visible (or 
Shekinah - not a biblical word) glory of YHWH appears, e.g. Ex 40:34, 1 
Kings 8:11 (in each case KABOD with the full spelling), but I don't know 
of any case of him showing his liver! Of course the English rendering 
"glory" may be problematic, because in modern English we don't think of 
"glory" as something visible. But the concept should be clear from the 
other occurrences.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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