[b-hebrew] 2 Kings 18:16 - Pillars??

Jim West jwest at highland.net
Thu Mar 31 17:38:36 EST 2005

Peter Kirk wrote:

> Not necessarily. The word as written may well be a participle of 'MN 
> "support", and so would suggest something like "supports", rather than 
> "doorposts" which support only doors.

And what pray tell do you think the posts are supporting?

> But there are many other concepts which could fit the context. The BHS 
> margin notes a Latin version "clypeos", meaning "shields"; the 
> suggestion there is that this is a textual error for MAGINNOT - not 
> the French defensive line, but the Hebrew equivalent, "shields" - but 
> quite possible 'OMEN could mean "shield", as an extension of "what is 
> relied upon". 

Which makes no sense in the context and is dismissed by many commentators.

> And from 1 Kings 14:26-28 we have evidence of gold shields associated 
> with royalty and the temple - replaced with bronze by Rehoboam, but it 
> is quite plausible that Hezekiah had restored gold or at least 
> gold-plated shields.
> There was no reason for the author to avoid the normal words for 
> "pillar" for variety, as the normal words are not used in the nearby 
> context.

So if it's not nearby its not in mind.  Out of sight, out of mind 
authorship and exegesis eh?

> Of course the same applies to the normal words for "shield". But the 
> fact remains that we have a word whose meaning can only be guessed at, 
> and the context gives us no good reason to prefer "pillar", 
> "doorpost", "shield", or perhaps other suggestions.

The context gives us good reason- but we are agreed that the word is 
ambiguous.  Only it's not as ambiguous as you would have it- apparently 
for the sake of argument.

> LXX, by the way, translates with a passive participle, "strengthened 
> things", although in Hebrew the participle is passive.
The LXX is to the Hebrew text what the Living Bible is to the english.

Jim West

Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com

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