[b-hebrew] various interpretations of HWWT

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Sun Oct 12 04:12:13 EDT 2008

I was wondering if anyone here has thought about the word HWWT,
which appears in quite a few places (especially Psalms).
It seems to have several quite different meanings.

In Is 47:11; Ez 7:26; Ps 57:2, 91:3; Pr 19:13; Job 6:2, 30:13
it means calamity, destruction or tragedy.

In Ps 5:10, 38:13; Pr 11:6, 17:4 ; Job 6:30 it means lies or deceitful speech,
while in Ps 52:4, 52:9, 55:12, 64:20, Micah 7:3 it seems to be simple wickedness,
hubris or evil intentions.

Do any of these meanings derive from the simple "to be"
as we see in Gen 27:29 and Is 16:4 ?
Exodus 9:6 seems to be an intermediate case
where the word could be simply "be there"
or something more ominous.

Are any related to "worthwhile" as it appears in Koh 2:22 ?

A similar root seems to mean "fall" in Job 27:6
and Daat Mikra interprets the "calamity" meaning
as an extension of that meaning
( note that Ruth 3:18 )YK YPOL DWR means )YK YKRH ).

On the other hand some of the classical comentators
imply that meanings I construed as "hubris or evil intentions"
actually come from )VH meaning "to lust after".

Any insights would be appreciated.

Yaakov (J) Stein

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