[b-hebrew] The root ayin-teth-pe

Phil King phil_king at sil.org
Wed Dec 3 02:09:29 EST 2008

Looking for some help from the lexicographical experts, and those who know cognate languages better than me:

The root ayin-teth-pe is given three senses in BDB - 'turn aside','envelop oneself','be feeble, faint'. These would appear to me (from my English semantic grid) to be homonyms rather than polysemous senses (i.e. there don't seem to be motivated etymological links between the three senses). However, reading the article 'The imagery of clothing, covering and overpowering' by Nahum Waldman (JANESCU 19, 1989, I was surprised to see him quote Jonah 2.8 as 'when my life was ebbing away (lit. 'when my soul wraps itself upon me')' (p.169) - interpreting the 'feeble / faint' sense as derived from the 'enveloping' one. I haven't seen these two senses linked in any other lexicons (but then, I don't have many to look at!). It would be nice for my thesis if I could substantiate a link, beyond just Waldman's assertion, but my knowledge of other languages is not up to it. 

Can anyone with a better knowledge of Aramaic, Arabic or Akkadian help me evaluate this link between the senses? Eg. are cognate roots also used with both senses? Or can anyone direct me to a lexicon which unites these senses?   

Thanks for the help,

Phil King
PhD Candidate
Eastern Highlands, PNG

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