[b-hebrew] feast for ears? Psalm 40:7

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sat Nov 17 18:02:04 EST 2007


Kenneth,

The closing H in the root KRH is a mere filler instituted to complete  
the root to a three-literal form. It is but a stunted HI), 'he-she',  
which appears in the verbal form KARITA = KAR-HI)-ATAH as YI. The  
final ATAH is for God.
The presence of the letter R in the root indicates that all acts and  
names derived from it refer to taking something apart or to putting  
something together. We find it in the following senses: 'dig, hollow  
out, excavate, tear up the earth', [Genesis 50:5]; 'pileup, spread,  
assemble, set up a feast', [2Kings 6:23]; 'acquire, purchase, tear  
away', [Deuteronomy 2:6].
Derived from KR [or QR] are: KIR, 'stove, coals holding dish, fire  
pit', [Leviticus 11:35], Q(AR-AH, 'dish, plate, bowl', [Exodus  
25:29], KIYOR, 'sink', [Exodus 30:18], KAR, 'pile, pillow', [Genesis  
31:34], KOR, 'heap', [1 Kings 5:2], KUR, 'crucible', [Deuteronomy  
4:20], MI-KREH, 'mine, pit', [Zephaniah 2:9], KER-AH, 'feast, heap of  
food', [2 Kings 6:23], M-KOR-AH, 'place of birth, origin', [Ezekiel  
29:14], and M-KER-AH, 'ax?', [Genesis 49:5].
By the equivalence assumption of G, H, X, K, Q, and by interchanging  
the filler letters we write the family:

גרא, גרע, גרה
הרה
חרא, חרה
כרה, כרע
קרא, קרה, קרע

אגר, אחר, אכר, עכר, עקר

גוּר, גיר, גער, גרוֹן
חוּר, חוֹר
כוּר, כוֹר
קוּר, קיר, קוֹרה, קער

גרר, גרגר, הרר, הרהר, חרר, חרחר, כרכר, קרר

Also related to KRH is the root KRT
כרת
'fell'.
Spoken Hebrew has K(R in the sense of 'mar, deface, damage, pit', and  
hence 'ugly'.

It appears to me that the poet's claim in Psalms 40:7 is that God is  
attentively listening to him [tearing wide open his ears, clearing  
his ear canal, so to speak] gratis, just out of sheer affection and  
admiration for his poetic skill and utter devotion [see also 40:2].  
By this interpretation the ears are God's ears, not the poet's. The  
poet appears to be saying to God You opened your ears to me [to my  
pleadings], and not You opened my own ears [to your wishes].
The KJV translates it [so also the JPS] as "mine ears hast thou  
opened". The NAB adds on his own, by way of explanation, "to obedience".

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Nov 16, 2007, at 1:32 PM, kenneth greifer wrote:

>
> Maybe Psalm 40:7 could say "a sacrifice and a gift offering You did  
> not desire, ears You have prepared (provided) for me, a burnt  
> offering and a sin offering You did not ask." Maybe G-d prepared  
> his ears to listen to G-d or the ears of the listeners who he would  
> tell G-d's greatness to in Psalm 40:10-11. It sounds strange, but  
> then it is poetry, so maybe it is a poetic way of saying G-d  
> provided people to listen to him.
>
> Kenneth Greifer
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