[b-hebrew] Ps 51:6

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Thu May 17 22:30:52 EDT 2007

A very good question. I like your 2nd meaning better, because it seems to
fits the enormity of David's crime better, but I can't support it from the
Tanach. Isaac is correct. There are 64 verses with B(YNEYKA, and in all the
ones in which B(YNEYKA is preceded by a noun, the meaning is, as Isaac says,
"in the mind" = your 1st translation. Unambiguous examples are 1 Chr 19:3;
Ps 90:4. {B(YNEYKA preceded by a verb [always "see"] means "see with your
eyes". Examples: Deut 3:27; 2 Kg 7:2}

There are 8 occurances with the lamed prefix, and these all are
unambiguously, as Isaac says, "in front of the eyes" = your 2nd translation.
Examples are Gen 47:19; Lev 25:53; Deut 4:34.

What other nefarious act did David commit and repent of that you say this
was his "moral system"? As he says when he was old in Ps 37, "though a
mighty man fall, he shall not utterly be cast down, because the Lord upholds
him by His hand.", David fell many times and recovered, but I wouldn't call
any of his other stumblings a "nefarious act" except for this matter
regarding Uriah.

Zech 12:8 ... and it shall come to pass in that day that he who stumbles
among them will be like David ...

The overcomers are those who, when they stumble, which is inevitable,
stumble like David.

-Steve Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Isaac Fried

Psalms 51:6 says B(YNEYKA and not L(YNEYKA. The first means 'in (B)  
the mind', and the second, 'in front (L) of the eyes'. I believe it  
is systematically so. In any event, king David has this moral system  
of first committing a nefarious act and then shedding warm tears over  
it in front of God.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On May 17, 2007, at 6:51 AM, <pporta at oham.net> <pporta at oham.net> wrote:

> Dear B-H listers,
> I know that usually Ps 51:6 has been translated and understood as:
> "I did what is evil to your eyes", ie I did a thing that you (God)  
> consider as evil or bad.
> But another possibility would be:
> "I did a bad thing in front of you", ie "When I was doing the bad  
> ing   -namely, adultery--  you were looking at me" (lit. 'at your  
> eyes'), you saw what I was doing...
> Are there any reasons, syntactical or other, that support the  
> meaning or understanding in the first place?
> And if there are some, what are these reasons?
> Pere Porta

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