[b-hebrew] Iron sharpeneth iron? (Prov. 27:17)

Luke Buckler biblical.languages at gmail.com
Wed Jun 29 13:31:43 EDT 2005


Hello,

I'm new to this list, and I know next to nothing about Hebrew, so
forgive me if I'm rather ham fisted and dumb!

My question is in regards to Pro. 27:17, which in all English
translations, as far as I know, says something like this: "Iron
sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" (that's from the ESV), or
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his
friend" (KJV).

However, I've recently read a study that disputes the above
translation and suggested that Prov. 27:17 doesn't say that, but
rather something like: "iron in iron is united and a man is united to
faces of his friend".

The Hebrew sentence in question, without the vowels, is as follows: -
brzl bbrzl yhd w'yš yhd pny r'hw

The dispute is over the vowel points in Hebrew word that's translated
traditionally as 'sharpens', or possibly as 'united'. Without the
vowel points the Hebrew word is '  yhd  ', I think (sorry if that's
not how the MCW puts it).

So (if you could actaully follow that!), is it possible that Prov.
27:17 could be read as "Iron in iron is united and a man is united to
faces of his friend"?

Thanks
Luke Buckler


p.s. I might be able to give more information on this to help
understand why "Iron in iron is united and a man is united to faces of
his friend" is suggested, if neccessary.


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