[b-hebrew] pelesheth hitro'a'i

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 11:08:39 EDT 2008


On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 12:44 PM, Gabe Eisenstein <gabe at cascadeaccess.com>

> Karl:
> Well it looks like I've been misled by Soncino (and King James) again.
> My Hebrew is elementary. All I can see is that Strong says it is RW( in
> the imperative hithpolel, and that hithpolel involves a consonantal
> doubling that gives the two ayins.
> In the parallel passage in Psalm 108:10, that's what it is. While that is a
similar passage, it is not exactly the same.

> If Strong and the Masoretes are both untrustworthy, can you recommend
> better resources for a beginner like me?
> I never used Strong's reference works, rather the only concordances I
bought are only in Hebrew and, because I am a Christian, Greek for the New

I don't know of any printed version of Tanakh that is not the Masoretic
text. On the computer, I first downloaded the text from
http://www.onlinebible.com which has its own unique encoding, later found
http://www.crosswire.org which encodes it using unicode and I can turn off
the points. While I have heard that some are different, I personally have
yet to find any differences in the consonantal texts. But I haven't made a
systematic examination.

As for my personal experience, I started out only with the learning I had, a
printed version of the Tanakh (Masoretic text), a copy of Gesenius with
access to BDB, and an analytical lexicon. The analytical lexicon literally
fell apart from use, but near the end I almost never looked up the
individual forms as I had learned from the analytical lexicon how to
recognize roots from the forms. I also learned to appreciate root meanings
from the analytical lexicon, that I would not have learned had I used only
BDB or Gesenius. Around that time I got a concordance that is only in

The important thing to note is that I started with the text, and read it
over and over and over again. That's where I learned most of my Hebrew. I
can't overemphasize reading the text.

I like the electronic helps available today. I like it that my PDA has a
Tanakh much smaller than the pocket Qoren edition I used to carry (which
fell apart from use). But would I have learned as much Hebrew had I used
these newer electronic tools? I wonder …

Just recognize that all human made tools to help read the text are fallible,
whether the Masoretic points, lexicons, concordances, etc. and the only way
to recognize error is by becoming familiar with the text, and that can
happen only by reading it over and over again. I don't know of any

> You say you don't see David taking offense in the text. It's certainly
> clear in the translation, but ... that rascal Soncino has interpolated
> the word "complains" after "If David comes, who slew the Philistine...".
> But Schottenstein also explains that David has come to "object" to
> something.

First, don't call Soncino a "rascal" unless you have evidence (which I
don't) that he deliberately set out to deceive people.

Are you sure you are reading the same Psalm 60?

> I think they're right, and that it can be inferred from the question
> "What if David comes?" and the answer "I must make them friends". God
> has to make them friends because David is angry; why else did he "come"?
> Rashi and Maharsha explain David's taking offense in relation to the
> pardoning of Doeg (by the Doreshe Reshumoth). But it seems to me that
> the piece about David is independent of the saying of the D.R.
> I don't know whether you think it relevant, but God makes them "friends"
> RY(YM -- which seems to be some kind of wordplay on HTR((Y.
> Where is this all in the text?

> I have also noticed something else: the Talmudic text has inserted a vav
> in its quotation: it has HTRW((Y rather than HTR((Y
> What does that tell us?
> That they conflated it with its parallel in Psalm 108:10 where the root is

> Gabe Eisenstein

Karl W. Randolph.

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