[b-hebrew] Zech 13:5

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jun 22 13:14:08 EDT 2005

On 22/06/2005 16:58, Karl Randolph wrote:

>Looking at the context might help. Previous to the phrase in question, the person in question claims that he is a slave of the soil, grammatically a possessive where the soil owns the person. Often a feminine noun denotes a generalized subject, while a masculine of the same refers to a specific subject, so in context this could be translated as “this soil” refeerring to a particular plot of land. Is this the only example in Tanakh for )DMH / )DM אדמה / אדם ?
>The verb QNH means to acquire and hold possession of (something) where the acquiring part of the action can be by purchase or manufacture. There is no equivelant in English, making any translation of this verb defective.
>Putting the two together, we get “I am a man who is a slave of the soil, this soil has possessed me since I was young.”
Karl, you have an excellent point, although your apparent emendation of 
)DM "man" to )DMH "soil" is unnecessary. There is an obvious word play 
between )DMH, the soil to which the speaker is now a slave [ (BD - 
pointed in MT as (OBED rather than (EBED but still suggesting work as a 
slave], and )DM, the person who caused that "slavery" perhaps by 
bringing up the young person on a farm. So the meaning is something like 
"I am a worker of the land, that is what people have made me", but of 
course that misses the word play.

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

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