[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Sat Oct 20 14:37:59 EDT 2007


> Go back in the archives where I have discussed this in greater detail,
> also in connection with this same story: "riddle" in English has a
> different meaning than XYDH in Hebrew. There was not necessarily the
> expectation that a normal person could answer it.

I assume that you refer to
Although I agree with you about the uses of XYDH in Ezekiel and
I don't buy it regarding Samson.

Samson was not a "deep" person, but he certainly like his word play.
In fact, I assert that with the exception of his third answer to Delilah
and this final words, every sentence we have from his mouth contains
some form of double entendre.

The easiest to see is his pun after killing a thousands Phillistines at
He says with the jaw (LXY) of a donkey (XMWR) I heap up a heap (XMWR) of
Note that here is in addition to a pun on the place name,
a pun on the name of an animal, like I am trying to do with )RY.
Note also that XMWR in the second meaning is related to XYMR and (RMH.

Right after the sentence in question, we have another one.
He says "were it not that you ploughed with my calf".
Calf is a common term for women (see David's wife in Sam2 3:5
and note that Rachel-calf too).
Moreso, the word to plough is the same as "to do something in secret, to
(see Joshus 2:1, Isaiah 3:3, Judges 16:2) and "to make a plan against"
as in XWR$Y R( and XWR$Y )BN.

Similarly, his first two replies to Delilah play on seven = $B( = oath =
being a Nazirite
(note that NZR is related to NDR, commonly appearing near $VW(H in the
and on his hair (strands) as well as possibly on his being a Nazirite
from birth.

> Samson expected that the Philistines could not figure it out, which is
> why he gave such a high price for the bet.

I agree that he had to make it hard. But Samson played fair in is own
(he did pay up on his bet !). So it had to be POSSIBLE to solve this

So, the XYDH is something HARD, but possible to figure out.
Note that XYDH is related to XD = sharp and possibly "happy"
(see Numbers 18:9, Job 3:6, and HDWH in many places).
What sharpened Samson's mind and probably brought him happiness
was word play.
Maybe I got it wrong, but somewhere in the words for lion, honey, etc
a pun is hiding.

>You need more than this one word.

Agreed !

Yaakov (J) Stein

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