[b-hebrew] sheeth in Ps 73:6

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 11 12:13:56 EDT 2008

>> 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: Scholars agree that the word occurs only twice in the Bible. It is 
inadmissible to ignore the vowel pointing evidence when it seems 
consistent. The two places where it  like this show a probability of 
similar meaning. So they do not appear to be accidental errors.
>> 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.
> Karl: But the actions also give the outward appearance. And since $YT as a noun
> refers to the action, ...

HH: Do you notice the clothing words in the context: necklace and wrap 
>>> [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.
> Karl: But you also admit that they are sometimes wrong, and what's to prevent them
> being wrong in this verse too?

HH: There is no real reason to assume they are wrong. Why would they be 
wrong in two places (Prov 7:10) where the texts suggest a similar word 
meaning? It is more likely that they are correct than that there are two 
random errors at texts that suggest a similar meaning.
>>> [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.
>> Karl: Steve Miller's criticism still stands, as both HH's examples use different words, even different from each other.

HH: Prov 7:10 and Ps 73:6 both support the understanding of the word as 
"garment." As "garment" the word has the possibility of use that 
numerous biblical texts show, where garments are associated with some 
quality, whether positive or negative. This suits Ps 73:6 to a tee, 
since the phrase is parallel with a "necklace" of "pride," very similar 

Harold Holmyard

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