[b-hebrew] Flying or Darting in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6

tladatsi at charter.net tladatsi at charter.net
Sun Apr 9 01:22:13 EDT 2006


I think the contex  is still against a literial reading of *flying* whether a pterosaur or a winged snake or a cockatrice.   In Isaiah 14:26 the sequence of images and metaphors are there is a ordinary snake (nakhach) which is a root (sheresh).  From this root grows a stem or trunk, another ordinary snake (tsefa').  The fruit of this root and stem is the *saraf m'ofef*.

I read the sequence as ordinary snake (nakhach) gives rise to ordinary snake (tsefa') gives rise to ordinary snake (saraf m'ofef).  I do not see any pattern or logic that would lead to a pattern of *snake - snake - flying snake*.   King Ahaz had just died and the Philistines were rejoicing as Ahaz had been scourge to them.  The image is that from the root of Ahaz (someone dangerous to the philistines as a snake might be) would arise some just as dangerous, his son (an other snake, even more dangerous) so don't rejoice.   I would venture that the sequence is one of increasing degree of deadlyness of the venom of the three snakes.  Saraf has as its root the sensation of burning, as a snakes venom has.  So if the reader / listener associate *saraf m'ofef* as the most venomous of the three snakes, the sequence makes sense.  The aspect of flying does add any extra danger. 

Jack Tladatsi

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