[b-hebrew] sheeth in Ps 73:6

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 11 08:41:27 EDT 2008


Steve,
>
> [Steve Miller] Thanks Harold. The meaning of the Biblical Hebrew words is determined by how they are used in the Bible. When a word is used only 2 times without a specific meaning required from the context that is not reason enough to question the translation of that word? So what would be
> sufficient reason? If it was used only once? 
> Neither LXX nor Lamsa translated it as "clothing" here. Lamsa translated it as "clothing" in Prov 7:10 though.


HH: If a word is long-established by the lexicons and is not problematic 
in the contexts, two appearances is not a sufficient basis to start 
questioning the word's meaning. The lexicons have reasons for assigning 
that meaning. Now, the varying translations in the LXX and Syriac would 
be reasons to ask about the meaning.

HH:  The LXX Psalms translator may not have known what the word meant.  
There is a lot that the LXX translators did not know. A word's meaning 
is not only determined by its usage in the one or two contexts in which 
we find it in the Hebrew OT. It is also determined by cognate usage, and 
there is a cognate word in Syriac that means "appearance." You don't 
clothe yourself with an "appearance," however, but with a garment 
(Psalms). The LXX uses a word EIDOS that means "outward appearance" in 
Proverbs. But a woman with the outward appearance of a harlot probably 
had the dress of a harlot. That gives the outward appearance.
>  
>   
>>>  The consonants  Shin
>>> Yod Tav are commonly translated "thorns" (i.e. Isa 5:6; 7:23-25, etc.),
>>>       
>> but
>>     
>>> when translated as "thorns", the word is voweled differently, with a
>>>       
>> patah
>>     
>>> under the shin, rather then a hireq.
>>>       
>>
>> HH: Well, that is significant.
>>     
>
> [Steve Miller] How much authority do you give to the MT vowels?


HH: I give the MT vowels a lot of authority. The reading tradition is 
supposed to go back to the first or second century.
>  
>   
>>
>> HH: The fact is that metaphors like "garment of violence" are used
>> elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible:
>>
>> Mal. 2:16 For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel, and
>> covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take
>> heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.
>>     
>
> [Steve Miller] Mal 2:16 seems to be the only one, and obviously does not use the word "shayith" to mean garment, but "leboosh". Mal 2:16 shows that "garment of violence" is a possible meaning of Psalm 73:6, but no more. Just because a verse or even verses somewhere in the Bible say something does not mean that another unrelated verse says the same thing when it uses different
> words. I think this is a common problem in Old Testament translation. They make verse A mean the same thing as verse B without paying enough attention to the meaning of the words in verse A.
>   


HH: It is a common, easily understandable image. Similar ideas occur 
elsewhere. There are the "garments of vengeance" in Isa 59:17, and there 
is the "garment of praise" in Isa 61:3.

>>>
>>>
>>> If so, then Prov 7:10 could be translated, "and behold a woman to meet him, a thorny harlot and subtle of heart." "Thorny" means she speaks verbal
>>> barbs.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Any comments?
>>>
>>>       
>>
>> HH: This seems unlikely.
>>     



HH: One has to do a two-step mental process to get to this in your 
theory. That is why it is unlikely. The verse says nothing about verbal 
anything.

Yours,
Harold Holmyard





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