[b-hebrew] pelesheth hithro'a'i

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Mon Jul 7 12:39:04 EDT 2008


The decision about the root of HITRO(A(I of Psalms 60:8, if it is of  
the RU( kind or the R(( kind, is made by the translators, methinks,  
post factum, after the meaning of the word has been surmised. I  
consider RU( being a mitigated RUC, and R(( a mitigated RCC. The  
existence of the letter R in the root refers it to a material state  
of aggregation of dispersion, for better of for worse. Thus, TRU(-AH  
is the vibration of the air and the dispersion of the sound, RA( is  
'flimsy, frail, insubstantial, lacking solidity or strength', or even  
'crashed' as in Psalms 2:9, R(-UT is 'a loose relationship or  
friendship between free people', and R(-YON is an ephemeral idea  
sloshing in the mind.
I think that the poet likens himself here to a rock on which PLE$ET  
is invited to crash itself. In other words, the poet is saying "PLE 
$ET, have a crush on me."

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 3, 2008, at 6:45 PM, Gabe Eisenstein wrote:

> Well I had so much fun with yorenu that I'm going to ask for help with
> another word in a Biblical quotation from Sanhedrin 105a. The word is
> hithro'a'i (hay-taf-resh-ayin-ayin-yud), found in Psalms 60:8. The
> translations go in two directions:
> 1) God is helping David defeat the Philistines, along with the  
> Moabites
> and others mentioned in the verse. These translations make pelesheth
> (the word before hithro'a'i) the object of the verb, as in "Over
> Philisita I shout in triumph".
> 2) For some strange reason God is helping the Philistines. These
> translations make pelesheth the subject of the verb, as in "Philistia,
> triumph thou because of me".
> Why God would help the Philistines is unexplained, and the reading  
> would
> have no contextual support, except that the Talmudic text portrays  
> David
> taking offense at the verse, citing his enmity toward Philistines.  
> This
> only seems to make sense under the second reading. Commentators say  
> that
> the following line, where God says "it is my duty to make them friends
> with each other", refers to David becoming friends with Doeg and
> Ahitophel. But this seems contorted to me. It seems more  
> straightforward
> to think that it is David and the Philistines who must be made  
> friends here.
> Maybe this time we can stick to the grammar without arguing my perhaps
> idiosyncratic interpretation. Or maybe not.
> thanks,
> Gabe Eisenstein
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