[b-hebrew] Human Sacrifice - Qal, Hiphil, Hophal - XRM

tladatsi at charter.net tladatsi at charter.net
Fri Oct 28 00:25:25 EDT 2005


The key it seems to me is to start with Lev 21:19.  It is, 
as far as I can tell, the only place in the Bible where XRM 
occurs as Qal.  The passage lists men who may not approach 
Yahweh.  The list includes all sorts of visible defects, 
including blindness, lameness, deformed, and XRM.  Here it 
seems to mean to have been cut resulting in a visible scar 
remaining.  KJV and others translates this a *flat nose*, 
following I think Jerome who translated it as *torto naso*
following the LXX *koloborrin*.  There is nothing in the 
Hebrew that specifies any specific part of the body.  
Others have translated it as disfigured.  So it can mean 
cut or mutilated.

if we take the core meaning as cut or mutilate, it is no 
stretch to apply this to an animal sacrifice where the
 animal is slaughtered and butchered which certainly invo
lves cutting and m
tilating.  That the stem would be hiphil or hophal makes se
nse as it is not the sacrificial animal which is doing or
 causing the cutting but some other agent.  It is then b
ut a small stretch to include humans in this category.  O
bviously this a ceremonial and religious element that ord
inary killing would not.

If cutting (ceremonial killing) th
e animal makes it available to Yahweh and unavailable to the
 man sacrificing it, then the term can be extended metaph
orically to any object given up by a man 
nd given over to Yahweh irreversibly in some religious 
ceremony, even if the object is non-living.   It can be ext
ended to military actions where no looting or taking of capt
ives is allowed but all are killed (cut).

Jack Tladatsi

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