[b-hebrew] Los Lunas and the ninth commandment

Ted Walther ted at reactor-core.org
Sat Mar 29 13:05:41 EDT 2008

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 12:32:03PM -0700, K Randolph wrote:
>Since we are in North America, we thought it would be neat to base our
>doorposts on the Los Lunas inscription, the North American version of
>the ten commandments.  Based on Karl's translation, I have a few more
>questions before deciding that it is suitable for this style of
>mezuzah.  I'll post them later.

Here are the questions.  They concern the ninth commandment.

Karl, I notice in your translation of the Los Lunas decalogue, it reads:

  * Don't answer concerning your neighbor falseness.

Lately, Jeff Benner posted a translation of the Masoretic that looks
like this:

  * You will not testify in your friend a testimony of deception.

I noticed that the prefix "B" can mean in or with.  So I put this on my
own mezuzah:

  * You will not testify with your friend a testimony of deception.

Then we have the traditional translation:

  * You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

So, the question is, which is the best translation?

 From Karl's translation I get the same meaning as in the traditional
translation, to wit, don't tell lies about your neighbor.  With the Jeff
Benner translation, I got the impression that you are not supposed to
tell lies TO your friend.  And when I traded "in" for "with" in my
mezuzah, I got an anti-conspiracy law, "Don't collude with your neighbor
to give false testimony".

Although untraditional, is there any merit to the latter two
understandings of the ninth commandment?


The key:

A aleph
B bet
G gimmel
D dalet
E hey
U vav
Z zayin
H het
Y teth
I yod
K kaf
L lamed
M men
N nun
C samekh
O oyin
P pe
X tsade
Q quf
R resh
S shin
T tav

X is for tsade because ts is similar to ks.
Y is for teth, because it once carried the "th" sound in English.
C is for samekh, because it once carried the s (also sh and ch) sounds.

	   There's a party in your skull.  And you're invited!

Name:    Ted Walther
Phone:   604-435-5787
Email:   ted at enumera.com
Skype:   tederific
Address: 3422 Euclid Ave basement, Vancouver, BC V5R4G4 (Canada)

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