[b-hebrew] sheeth in Ps 73:6

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Oct 11 11:39:54 EDT 2008

Steve and Harold:

On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 5:41 AM, Harold Holmyard
<hholmyard3 at earthlink.net>wrote:

> 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.

There is another issue at hand here. When a word is used several times in
contexts where the meaning is clear, then used twice in poetry where words
are often used in unique ways for effect, then should not we continue with
the meaning where it is clear, and try to understand the reason for the
effect in the poetry?

> 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.
> >
But the actions also give the outward appearance. And since $YT as a noun
refers to the action, ...

> >
> >
> > [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.
> >
But you also admit that they are sometimes wrong, and what's to prevent them
being wrong in this verse too?

> >
> >>
> >> 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.
> Steve Miller's criticism still stands, as both HH's examples use different
words, even different from each other.

> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

Karl W. Randolph.

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