[b-hebrew] Proverbs 13:1 (was Using an unpointed text)

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Aug 26 02:11:25 EDT 2007

First, in case it wasn't clear, I accept gapping as the most reasonable
conclusion.  I only provided how I would analyze the verse had leftward
gapping not been permissible.  O'Connor seems to suggest that
leftward gapping is permissible in Hebrew only in poetic forms, and
perhaps only at the beginning of the poem.  He elsewhere claims
that this type of gapping is grammatical in Hindi, Urdu, Zapotec, and
Tojolabal (a Mayan language).

In order to analyze BN, one has to take all the verses of the Bible (or
Proverbs) with both )B and BN, looking only at those where )B definitely
means "father", and BN either definitely means "son" or definitely doesn't
mean "son."  (Obviously, disagreement between translations or with a
translation indicates the meaning is not "definite" enough).  Now, of these
verses, consider the percentage of those where BN definitely mean "son."

As for MWSR, the point was that there were several factors that would
explain how the verse would have gotten misinterpreted, even though the
original was entirely grammatical:
1) A sentence structure of OVS which might have been more permissible
when case-endings were present, but is confusing.
2) The spelling MWSR with a VOV which is not the standard spelling (for
either Piel or Pual).  A VOV however was very similar to a YODH in the
early to mid Second Temple period.  Furthermore, MWSR is a standard
word in such proverbs.   As a result, the verse might have been miscopied
as MWSR instead of MYSR, and this led to a misinterpretation.

Kenneth's wild guess makes no sense at all, in my opinion.  It is only by
forcing the meanings of the words that one makes sense of them.

However, I think the best way is to accept leftward gapping.

Yitzhak Sapir

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