[b-hebrew] HQBH and QBTH in Numbers 25:8

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 19:07:56 EDT 2008

On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 3:50 AM, Yaakov Stein wrote:
> The word QBH appears twice in one sentence,
> yet the classical commentaries relate to them as two completely unlrealted words.
> Rashi says that the first "HQBH" means "the tent"
> while the second "QBTH" (of the woman) is some bodily organ,
> probably the stomach (relating the word to QYBH).

The first is qubbɔ < *qubba: "vault, dome, brothel, tent".  The
cognate in Arabic
(qubbat) gives us English alcove.  One of the suggestions mentioned by HALOT
is that it means the room for women in the tent.  In any case, if this
word serves
the same meaning for both then the word "chamber" or specifically "her chamber"
(in the tent) is the implication.  The Samaritan reading for these
words is qɔbbɔ
vs qɔbbɔ:tɔ.  HALOT proposes that perhaps the second is to be deleted as a
dittography of the first and references Noth's Das Alte Testament Deutsch 7:170

The other word is stomach, represented in Deut 18:3.  This word has very little
comparative cognates (compared with the previous word).  However, there are
some such as Tigr. qabat meaning middle/lower part.  The Samaritan pronunciation
of this word is qa:ba.

I've been holding out on sending this since the morning.  The Samaritan
pronunciations are based on the HALOT comments in the respective entries.
I wanted to look it up in the Samaritan Pentateuch online but the site has been
down through the day.

Here are some links related to Reif's article, which definitely sounds

It seems Reif's study brings evidence to the effect that the word qbth was
pronounced with a doubled b, from the Midrash.  Nonetheless, one does not
have to adopt a meaning "shrine."  "Chamber" would still do.

Yitzhak Sapir

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