[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Oct 20 23:36:00 EDT 2007

Dear Yaakov:

On 10/20/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> Karl,
> > 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
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2007-August/033243.html

Yep, that was it.

> Although I agree with you about the uses of XYDH in Ezekiel and
> Proverbs,
> I don't buy it regarding Samson.
And why not? Samson was more than just a simple farmer, he ended up
judging Israel for 20 years. That indicates superior intelligence.
That indicates that his peers recognized that he was a leader among
men. From the context, the book of Judges covers just a few memorial
events from his life.

> Samson was not a "deep" person, but he certainly like his word play.

Where is your evidence that he was not a "deep" person?

> 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
> Lehi.
> He says with the jaw (LXY) of a donkey (XMWR) I heap up a heap (XMWR) of
> bodies.
> 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).

"Rachel" means "ewe", a female sheep, not "calf". No, it is not a
common term for woman (in 2 Samuel 3:5 it is a personal name).

> Moreso, the word to plough is the same as "to do something in secret, to
> whisper"

Please give examples, I know of no such uses. The only uses that I
recognize are "to act quietly" such as when working hard, such as when
plowing. It is also used to refer to a deaf person.

> (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
> bible)
> and on his hair (strands) as well as possibly on his being a Nazirite
> from birth.
Whereas he made a play on his words, are you implying that he used
words in other than their usual meaning, i.e. contrary to how others
used them?

> > 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
> way
> (he did pay up on his bet !). So it had to be POSSIBLE to solve this
> riddle.
You don't seem to recognize how high priced a bet he made. The reason
his guests went after Samson's wife was because they would have found
it difficult to pay him.

> So, the XYDH is something HARD, but possible to figure out.

Again, Samson expected that his guests would have failed.

> Note that XYDH is related to XD = sharp and possibly "happy"

No. Even to bring it up is the etymological error.

> (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.
Maybe, but I have not found it. Furthermore, we don't need it to
understand this passage.

> >You need more than this one word.
> Agreed !
> Yaakov (J) Stein
Karl W. Randolph.

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