[b-hebrew] Interchangeable letters

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Oct 25 11:13:50 EDT 2007


Karl

SRX [with sin] is not, at least in my opinion, "running to and fro",  
and SRX is not "overhanging, such as draping over the edge (of a bed)  
or of the excess cloth overhanging the backside of the tent". To wit:  
Amos 6:4 U-SRUXIM (AL (AR$OTAM, in which SRUXIM is translated as  
'lounge, stretch, sprawl', not hanging over their couches.
I want to tell you in the friendliest manner that in my opinion you  
are making the ultimate mistake in considering Hebrew in a narrow  
dictionary-like manner. Hebrew, unlike English, has a root system  
that is subtly, but quite clearly, intermeshed. By ignoring this and  
isolating a root to the restricted confines of a dictionary  
translation-definition you miss the grand panorama of the Hebrew  
power of allusion and intimation. Notice how clever the prophet is in  
Jeremiah 2:23: BIKRAH QALAH M-SAREKET DARAKEHA, playing upon the  
essential identity of the roots DRX and SRX. Observe how it is almost  
M-DAREKET DARAKEHA.
He who fails to see the inherent affinity of DRX, ZRX, TRX, YRX, SRX,  
CRX, is seeing only the outer shell of Hebrew, and even this only in  
black and white.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 24, 2007, at 1:44 AM, K Randolph wrote:

> Isaac:
>
> On 10/23/07, Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
>> Yigal,
>>
>> Here is something else worth thinking about. How are we to understand
>> the meaning of the root SRK [with sin] of Jeremiah 2:23 in
>> relationship to its derivative SROK, 'thong, strap, lace', if not via
>> SRX of Exodus 26:12-13 and Amos 6:4?
>>
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>
> %RK has the idea of running to and fro, which is what a shoestring
> does over the top of a foot, hence %RWK.
>
> SRX (two letters different) has the idea of overhanging, such as
> draping over the edge (of a bed) or of the excess cloth overhanging
> the backside of the tent.
>
> So how does the latter help with understanding the former?
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
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