[b-hebrew] 'iysh and zakar

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Mar 2 10:31:44 EST 2005


LOL! That's what we get when we open our mouths on quickly correctable online speech!

But in general use, outside of specialized phrases, "man" refers only to the male of our species. I believe historically "man" was used in a wider sense, hence its survival in historical phrases such as you mentioned where people recognize that it is used in a non-standard way by modern standards, but today it would be considered proper by most people to use "mankind" or "human" in more generalized speech.

However, the use of "he" is still proper, much to the distress of the feminists.

>From the numbering of Israel in the wilderness after the Exodus, we see that only those considered fighting men (or in the case of the Levites, connected with cult worship) were counted. It looks as if those who were not counted, were excluded not because they were unimportant, but for other reasons.

Still there is the grammatical masculine in Hebrew for mixed or generalized groupings, such as "anyone" or "people".

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon at historian.net>

> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 11:45 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 'iysh and zakar
> > Uri:
> >
> > In good English, "man" refers only to the male of the species.
> Do you think that "Early Man" or the "Evolution of Man" or 
> "Man-made" or the impact of "man on the environment" means only 
> males?  Whether or not in "good English" you substitute "mankind" 
> or "Human," common usage usually defines what is "good English" and 
> "man" is used in a neutral sense...much to the dismay of feminists. 
>   Language is a reflection of culture and Hebrew was the language 
> of a culture in which the male was important and females were not.  
> I do not think the words for "male" or "man" included women..say as 
> in )m, a masculine noun for "people."  I believe this pericope 
> commands that an adult male cannot lie with a male of any age.
> Jack Kilmon

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