[b-hebrew] "Desire of Women" in Heb. Text of Dan. 11:37

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Sun Nov 12 22:36:57 EST 2006

When I first read this query, according to the Hebrew, including 
modern Hebrew, that I know, I intuitively 'knew' that "chemdat 
nashim" did not refer to "the desire of women", since "chamud" or 
"chamuda" in modern Hebrew, refers to someone who is desirable, ie 
"chamud" is not a noun, but an adjective (except in modern Hebrew 
slang).  Then when I looked it up in the translations that I use, 
this was confirmed.  It is Rashi, among others, who teaches that 
Daniel is referring to Israel - and our Sages are authorities in this 
regard, and they teach according to historical context.

"He will not give consideration to the G-d of his (Israel's) 
ancestors nor to the desirable among women (Israel), nor will he give 
consideration to any god, for he will aggrandize himself above 
everything"  makes more sense than to say that Daniel is referring to 
a deity worshipped by women - by which women?  Israelite women??? 
Which deity was that?  This verse is speaking about a rebellious 
king, who rebels against G-d and Israel.


> It's not "the desire of women" - it's "The most desirable among
> women", and Daniel is referring to Israel
> Shoshanna

I would think that since the verse starts "and he will not pay
attention to the
gods of his ancestors" and ends with "nor will he pay attention to any gods
because  he will boast over all" that the middle portion of the verse would
translate as "and concerning the [thing/one] desired by women" and would
contextually refer to a deity worshipped by women.

James W Bennett
jimb at tara-lu.com
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