[b-hebrew] Using an unpointed text

Peter Bekins pbekins at fuse.net
Fri Aug 24 17:25:36 EDT 2007


You wrote:

 >>Proverbs 13:1 בן חכם מוסר אב
 >>Proverbs 15:20 בן חכם ישׂמח־אב
 >>Looking at the verses above, one would think that the first two words
 >>are the same, but they aren't. In the top example, the only word that
 >>fits the context that can fulfill the function of a verb is BN...

I don't know about this one. You don't discern(BYN) MUSAR, you LQX it  
or $M( it or QBL it or something similar. As you state, and  
especially in context with )B, your obvious first impression is to  
read "wise son", and I think this is the correct reading.

The full verse is:

בן חכם מוסר אב ולץ לא שמע גערה

Hebrew poetry commonly uses a technique called "gapping" where one  
colon has no verb (ie, an obvious gap), but the reader knows to  
supply the verb from the parallel clause. In this case that verb is $M 
(, which fits much better with MUSAR. The BN XKM is being contrasted  
with the LC while the MUSAR (B is a synonym of G(RH. Thus you are  
correct to feel tension as if there is a verb missing in the first  
clause, but the answer is not to read BN as a verb, but to supply $M 
( in contrast to the second clause: L) $M(. I would translate:

"A wise son [listens to] a father's discipline, but a scoffer does  
not listen to rebuke"

Peter Bekins

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