[b-hebrew] )CM and )CY

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue May 8 19:24:47 EDT 2007


You are making a keen observation that goes to the heart of the  
nature of the Hebrew language. What still needs to be done is better  
qualify what you mean by "they basically mean the same thing".
This is how I see it. The Hebrew root describes a material fixed  
state, not a process in time. The QAL form is a root plus two 'A'  
sounds inserted into it to facilitate its utterance. The root YC) [I  
am writing all Hebrew in English letters left to right], of  
essentially the single consonant C, can not inherently describe such  
an abstract and involved process as 'coming out' [notice that English  
needs two words to express this Idea, as does Latin where 'exit' is  
essentially the compound ex-it, and 'exist' is essentially the  
compound ex-ist]. Existentially all YC) means is that something is,  
post factum, out. This compels us to conclude that C by itself is a  
single-consonant root [verb] corresponding to the English existence- 
expressing substantive 'is'. Of course, the usage of the triliteral  
root YC) is for something that we imagine was in the past in some  
sense "inside" and now exists in some sense "outside". Doubled, it  
produces CC from which we have CYIC, 'blossom, tuft, sprout, bud,  
(EC, 'tree', NCC, 'sparkle', from which we have NYICOC, 'spark'. Also  
the roots )C, N)C and N(C, and more.
The root MC) is commonly rendered as 'find' [of dubious English  
etymology, possibly intended in the sense of 'to stumble or bend  
upon', or 'being located or founded, or confined somewhere'], but is  
closer in sense to 'available' or, again, 'exist'. In spoken Hebrew  
M'CYI)UT is 'reality', and MACUYI is 'common' or 'available'.
Genesis 2:20 is surely not saying that God frantically ransacked his  
drawers to find ADAM a mate, but rather that a mate was not  
available, MACUYI, in all creation. A mate needed yet to be "brought  
Hence, as you say it rightly YC) and MC) "basically mean the
same thing", namely, 'exist'.  By now you are saying But everything  
exists, to which I am saying You are absolutely right.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On May 7, 2007, at 7:19 PM, Brak wrote:

> I was wondering what the difference is between the two words )CM [ex:
> Gen 2:20, 13th word] and )CY [ex: Psa 136:11, 1st word].
> To me they look like they would be related, and they basically mean  
> the
> same thing.
> Any help would be great.
> -- 
> B"H
> John Steven
> "If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you
> behave."
> -Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
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