[b-hebrew] Psalm 22:16 - daqar as pierced ?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 01:28:08 EDT 2006


On 10/1/06, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org> wrote:
> > People who wish to communicate choose words according to their
> > commonly understood meanings, or as we say here, according to their
> > semantic domains. If he wants to communicate, he does not use words in
> > weird, unique senses. A word cannot have multiple meanings and still
> > communicate.
> >
> >
> Nonsense. There are many words which have multiple meanings and still
> communicate. In English, to pick an example at random, "bear". Or if you
> want two meanings which are the same part of speech, "lie". If I say "he
> is lying", I can tell only from the context which meaning is intended,
> but only rarely (and then usually intentionally) is there any ambiguity.
Both examples you give above are the result of two different roots
that have converged in sound so as to sound the same, another example
being to/too/two. In Norwegian, for  example, the two roots for "bear"
are still recognizable as "bære" and "bjørn" (older English "beorn"),
whereas German recognizes the difference between "liegen" and "lügen".
I expect that modern English has more examples like this than most
languages, seeing as it is a mish mash of languages. Similarly English
has many terms that have diverged from a single root into different
languages, then brought back into one language as separate terms.

> There are many words in biblical Hebrew that work like that.

I have found only a few.

> ... Some may
> have become like that because the various senses of a word have become
> widely diverse. Others have become like that because, as with "lie", two
> originally different words have come to be spoken or spelled the same -
> as can be proved by comparison with other languages both ancient and modern.
> ...
> --
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/
When I look at a Biblical Hebrew term, I start with the assumption
that it has one semantic domain and admit to more than one when I find
it impossible to reconcile all its uses into one semantic domain.
There are also a few where it appears that meanings have diverged.

When I look at a dictionary like BDB and find multiple meanings, I
look for the action that is behind all its definitions, then in my
dictionary list that action. Of course I look more at a concordance
than a dictionary, because that gives me a list of its occurrences so
I can see how the term is actually used, not relying on the
interpretation of the lexicographer.

Take, for example, the word KRH, all its uses fit within the semantic
domain of providing for as in preparing, setting up, giving
provisions. Some of the times that providing is by digging, once in
giving provisions to troops so that they would have the energy to
return home (in ancient times, armies were expected to live off the
land, hence were seldom provided with rations like a modern army. This
story is the case where the captured army was given provisions, then
sent home.), a couple times the provision was through purchase.

Translating the term is a different story, as a smooth English
translation may want to use "dig" or "purchase" because, while the
term makes perfect sense in Biblical Hebrew, it is sometimes awkward
and difficult to understand in English when translated literally. But
as I repeatedly say, my interest is not so much in translating, but in
understanding how a term is used in Biblical Hebrew.

Karl W. Randolph.

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