[b-hebrew] virginity

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Jul 18 20:49:57 EDT 2007

In addition, Judges 21:12 piles up 3 terms, NA(AR, B:TUWLFH, and "who did not  know to 
lie with a man," a rather unusual expression, methinks.  The previous verse says to kill ever 
woman "who knows lying-down with a male" (my own literal rendering).  All this suggests 
that the language being used here is very intensive and hardly normative for regular 
narrative, much less poetry.  I doubt we can infer anything at all about Isaiah from this 

On 19 Jul 2007 at 10:03, Bill Rea wrote:

> Tory wrote:-
> >If Isaiah had intended physical virginity to be clearly understood he
> >would have undoubtedly wrote "woman/girl whom no man had known..."
> >which is the manner in which the Hebrew author of Jdg. xxi 12
> >expresses physical virginity so as to remove any possibility of doubt.
> This is an assumption on your part. As such you can't elevate an
> assumption to a fact. The Judges 21:12 can easily be read otherwise.
> To insist that the author must have added ``whom no man had known''
> to remove doubt is a reasonable assumption but no more reasonable
> than believing the author was engaging in repitition for literary
> effect. Part of the art of Hebrew poetry is in the skill of the
> use of parallels. It was a well known art form and it is a reasonable
> assumption the writer was thoroughly familiar with it. A
> prose writer could also use this device. Since someone brought up
> the question of how scholarship is done, a scholar should have
> no difficulty in acknowledging uncertainly where uncertainly
> exists. The reasons the writer had for adding ``whom no man had
> known'' in Judges 21:12 are uncertain. And that's a certainty :-)
> Bill Rea, ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
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> Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332        /)  Zealand
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Dave Washburn
But I can't say Sylvester, George!

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