[b-hebrew] Zech 1:19,21

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 17 06:30:09 EDT 2007


Dear Isaac,
>
> It appears to me that the XARDU (XARCU) of 1 Samuel 13:7 is exactly 
> the same as the TEXERAC of 2 Samuel 5:24.
>

HH: Well, they're not the same as the spelling is different. This is 
what HAL (The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament) says 
about the latter:

II XRC: Arb. hara/isa (with dots under "h" and "s") to covet, aspire, 
Tigrin. Leslau 22; Akk. hiris libbi (with a crescent [looks like a 
little smile] under the "h" and a dot under the "s") striving of the 
heart ? (MAOG 13/2:18; AHw. 341b).
qal: impf.: to do something with enthusiasm, “pay attention!” 2 Sam 5:24.

HH: Now, HAL treats this word as a different word than XRC I, which it 
lists as "fix, determine." However, the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew 
(DCH) treats all occurrences of the spelling as the same word, and sees 
the meaning in 2 Sam 5:24 as "take decisive action."
>
>
> Who do you think are the 4 XARASHIM, and what is their function in 
> Zechariah's vision?
>

HH: The four craftsmen are agents capable of cutting off horns:

NIV: Zech. 1:20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.

The KJV translated the word as "carpenters." The related verb is used of 
crafting tools:

Gen. 4:22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of 
tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

HH: The noun describes a gem cutter:

Ex. 28:11 Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the 
way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree 
settings

HH: And a blacksmith:

1Sam. 13:19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, 
because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make 
swords or spears!”

HH: And a carpenter:

2Kings 22:6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them 
purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.

HH: The verb is also used for the action of cutting the ground with a plow:

Is. 28:24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? 
Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?

HH: So the word conjures the idea of someone who works with cutting 
tools, in this case to cut apart the horns. They might cut the horns off 
animals. The word "horn" could be a synecdoche (a part used to represent 
the whole) for an attacking animal with a horn, which in turn symbolizes 
a political power, an attacking nation or coalition of nations. They are 
described as "horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the 
land of Judah to scatter its people.” (Zech 1:21). Maybe in the vision 
all Zechariah saw was the horn itself, but in the Bible a horn 
symbolizes power, especially attacking power, since animals use their 
horns to attack.

HH: So here the craftsmen cut the horns off the nations (perhaps to be 
thought of as animals), depriving them of their attacking power. The 
craftsmen represent powers capable of sawing off a horn and thus 
disarming an attacking nation. What the craftsmen represent is not so 
clear. They could be other nations, like the Medo-Persian armies that 
defeated the Babylonians and freed the Israelites. On the other hand, 
they could be angelic powers:

Zech. 2:1 Then I looked up — and there before me was a man with a 
measuring line in his hand!
Zech. 2:2 I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure 
Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
Zech. 2:3 Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel 
came to meet him
Zech. 2:4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be 
a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in 
it.
Zech. 2:5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the 
LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
Zech. 2:6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the 
LORD, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares 
the LORD.
Zech. 2:7 “Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!”
Zech. 2:8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored 
me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you — for 
whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye —
Zech. 2:9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves 
will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.

HH: Zechariah 2:6 seems to correspond to 1:19 in its use of the idea of 
scattering Israel:

Zech. 1:19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” 
He answered me, “These are the horns that SCATTERED [ZRH] Judah, Israel 
and Jerusalem.”

Zech. 2:6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the 
LORD, “for I have SCATTERED [PR$] you to the four winds of heaven,” 
declares the LORD.

HH: The four horns could represent powers capable of scattering Israel 
to the four winds, or in every direction.

HH: Zechariah 2:8-9 seem to correspond to the action of the four 
craftsmen in throwing down the horns (Zech 1:21):

Zech. 1:21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “These 
are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise his head, 
but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns 
of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to 
scatter its people.”

Zech. 2:8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored 
me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you — for 
whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye —
Zech. 2:9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves 
will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.

HH: The angel of the Lord seems to speak these words, "Then you will 
know that the LORD Almighty has sent me." Since the Lord sends him 
against the nations that have scattered Israel, the four craftsmen may 
not represent just human powers but also angelic or supernatural ones. 
They are whatever forces the Lord uses to destroy the nations attacking 
the land of Judah.

Yours,
Harold Holmyard



>
> On Apr 16, 2007, at 11:39 PM, Harold Holmyard wrote:
>> There might be ways of thinking like that if you thought that casting
>> down meant destroying. The terrifying would precede the destruction. But
>> Isaac offers the alternative of a comma, which is what the NRSV has. The
>> NIV for style purposes inserts "and" between the infinitives. I think a
>> bigger problem is that the Hiphil of XRD means "startle" or "terrify."
>> Where is the evidence elsewhere for it meaning "rock loose." I can see
>> how you might guess that from a Qal idea of "tremble," but where is the
>> evidence? Also I think the horns represent powers, or people, rather
>> than physical war machines. That is why an idea like "terrify" seems
>> more suitable.
>>
>> Yours,
>> Harold Holmyard
> [cut]
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