# [b-hebrew] Ps 40:6

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Oct 17 23:30:31 EDT 2007

```John,

(RK is a member of the root family )RX, )RK, (RK, all essentially
meaning 'to array or arrange in a linear or in a sequential order',
and by implication 'to estimate length, to asses value, to size, to
fix a scale, to argue or demonstrate deductively by logical steps, to
plan. They are also related to the roots RHH [see Isaiah 44:8], RKK,
and RQQ, all meaning 'to be soft, to be pliable, to be extensible'.
Also to the roots RXQ and RQX.
From the root )RX we have: )ORAX, 'way, life-style', )ORXAH,
'caravan, a series of beasts', )ARUXAH, '[lengthy] meal [of several
dishes]', and [the non biblical] )ARIAX, 'tile'.
From the root )RK we have )AROK, 'long, extended'.
From the root (RK we have: (EREK, 'value', and MA-(ARAK, 'arrangement'.
It appears to me that the )EYN (AROK )ELEYKA of Psalms 40:7 means
'you are incomparable, you are inestimable, you are unsurpassed, you
are incommensurable, you have no definite value'.
I see other interesting uses of the root (RK in Psalms 5:4 and 50:21.
The fact that these roots include the letter R is a sure indication,
in my opinion, that they all refer to a state of dispersion or
aggregation.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 16, 2007, at 7:03 PM, JBarach at aol.com wrote:

> B-Haverim --
>
> Any suggestions on how to understand (and translate) the phrase at
> the end
> of the second line of Ps. 40:6?
>
> I've seen that line rendered "Your thoughts toward us cannot be
> recounted  to
> you in order" (NKJV) or "reckoned up in order" (KJV), presumably
> taking ערך,
>  which has the root sense of laying something out or stacking
> something up,
> as  having to do with setting things out in order in words.  It's
> possible that
>  that's how the phrase is used in Job 32:14.
>
> Others take this phrase to refer to *comparison*: "There is no
> comparison
> with you!"  The context does suggest occasion for such a comment,
> given  that
> the previous verse speaks of those who are turning aside to "a
> lie" (i.e.,  a f
> alse god).  But is this phrase ever used elsewhere for
> comparison?   The verse
> that is often cited as proof of this possibility is Isaiah 40:18,
> but  that
> isn't exactly this phrase!
>
> With the addition of  אל, however, it seems that the phrase often
> has  to do
> with setting an army in order, arraying an army, against someone.
> Even in
> Job 32:14, where it is words that are being laid out (in order),
> the  sense of
> opposition is still present.
>
> Would it be correct, then, to understand the last half of this line as
> saying something like "There is no one arrayed against you" --
> perhaps in the
> sense "No one can be arrayed against you (and succeed)?"  The whole
> line  would
> then be understood this way: "As for your thoughts toward us -- no
> one can  be
> arrayed against you (successfully)."
>
> it  would
> help if any of you have the technology that allows you to list all
> the  passages
> where this verb is used with אל.  That's something I can't search
> for on my
> computer and I'd like to be able to study those passages.
>
> Thanks!
>
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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