[b-hebrew] collecting myrrh and honey

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 10:00:43 EDT 2007

Dear Yaakov:

I get the impression that you have an agenda that you are attempting
to prove, and that you are closed to evidences that contradict that
agenda. Is that true? If so, is there any reason to continue this

On 10/22/07, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:
> Karl,
> > And why not? Samson was more than just a simple farmer, he ended up
> > judging Israel for 20 years. That indicates superior intelligence.
> Please note that the word "to judge" as used in the book of Judges means
> something like "to rule", without any implication of legal or
> philosophical knowledge.

Not so among ancient Hebrew judges, they were to adjudicate between
people concerning their legal differences. While most simple cases
were to be taken care of on the village level, difficult cases were to
be brought before special judges, such as Samson.

> ... It was quite common in the ancient world for military heros
> to become rulers...
True, but as judges?
> >> Samson was not a "deep" person, but he certainly like his word play.
> >   Where is your evidence that he was not a "deep" person?
> That is my interpretation of the text. There is certainly nothing
> stating
> that he was wise (as with Solomon) or wrote proverbs.
> There is a lot that says he goes somewhere,
> falls in love with the wrong woman, gets in trouble,
> and only saves himself by his physical strength.
> Not quite the wise man of Kohelet chapter 9.
What we have are a few incidents mentioned from a life of around 40
years or more. The text is silent on most of his life. So you are
going to take those few incidents and make them the measure of the man
in every area of his life?

> > 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?
> No, that he was purposely using double entendre.
> > 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.
> OK. Doesn't effect my argument. Samson purposely used a VERY HARD
> riddle, but it was still a riddle that was possible to decipher.
> Otherwise, why would the Phillistines have agreed in the first place ?
Greed. If they figured out the didactic question posted as a riddle,
what each of them would get was quite valuable. They didn't expect the
answer to be so difficult. Notice, they accepted the bet before they
learned what the question was.

> > No. Even to bring it up is the etymological error.
> I would appreciate your derivation.
I see no reason to postulate that XWD (to ask a didactic question),
XDD (to file, often used in sharpening) and XDH (to encourage) come
from the same root. That's why I claim that even to postulate that is
an application of the etymological error, an error based on the belief
that because words have similar sound that therefore they came from
the same root.

> > Maybe, but I have not found it. Furthermore, we don't need it to
> > understand this passage.
> I guess you don't. I do.
You need to find a pun because you have started out with a certain
presupposition that one must be there. What I have shown is that there
is no need for a pun if one takes the meanings of all terms as they
are used elsewhere in Tanakh. You have rejected my answer out of hand
based on your presuppositions. As far as my knowledge of Hebrew
language and the narrative as presented, your presuppositions
contradict the text as well.

> Yaakov (J) Stein

If you have an agenda, that you are trying to prove something, I see
no reason to continue the discussion.

Karl W. Randolph.

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