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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Dec 3 10:15:55 EST 2008

Dear Phil:
When looking at the action connected with the word, I get the impression of
drooping down, such as from weakness caused by dispirit or wound, in the
same manner as clothing droops down (drapes) over the shoulders and body,
hence grain "draping valleys" Psalm 65:14 (what a poetic picture).

The idea of one's life or spirit drooping upon one is used only poetically,
referring to how one just drags, droops down with no strength, when
discouraged or weakened.

The adjective derived from the same root has the concept of feebleness, e.g.
Genesis 30:42.

A noun, used only once in Isaiah 3:22, otherwise undefined, possibly a cloak
or similar piece of clothing that just droops down (drapes over) the body.

I do not see Waldman's idea at all.

In short, I see only one meaning, one root, joined by the action referenced.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Tue, Dec 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM, Phil King <phil_king at sil.org> wrote:

> 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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