[b-hebrew] Psalm 2:12

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Thu Mar 24 17:45:16 EST 2005

>  1.  the first is the peculiar sign above the 'bet' in this phrase.
It's a cantilation mark called "pazer" - a minor stop and sung as an
ascending note.

>  2.  and what do these circles above letters mean that i keep coming
> accross?
They refer you to the mesoretic notes on the page margins.

>  3.  Is there any chance that this aramaic word for 'son' could mean
> 'purity'  and then one is lead to translate this phrase as:  'take hold of
> purity, or embrace purity'?  the artscroll series translates it thus.
>  4.  I read somewhere that 'BaR' is really a construct of 'BeN' is this
> true?  One hears bar mitzvah instead of ben mitsvah?
>   5. since the psalmist a few verses earlier uses 'BeN' for son, then I
> wonder why he switches from hebrew to aramaic in the middle of this psalm,
> unless he really wants his readers to understand something other than

The word "bar" does mean "son" in Aramaic. It's not a construct of
anything - it's the standard Aramaic word in stead of Hebrew "ben". The
(much later) term "bar mitzvah" is indeed Aramaic.
However, I doubt that this psalm really does use the Aramaic for son,
although this is the standard Jewish and Christian translation. This
understanding of the verse developed in a Jewish world in which Hebrew and
Aramaic were practically interchangable. For Christians, the "son" is none
other than THE Son.
In Hebrew, however, "bar" can also mean "produce" or "crop", which sound out
of place here. But "bar" CAN mean pure as well, as in Psalm 24:4. This is
where Kimhi gets his interpretation, which the Artscroll picked up on.


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