[b-hebrew] various interpretations of HWWT

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 13 09:42:24 EDT 2008

This is a good example of just because one word looks similar to another,
that does not mean that it comes from the same root.

Having said that, it appears that there are two roots involved here, HWH
meaning "to become" and a noun meaning "rumor, gossip, idle words that
destroy". There are only two meanings that I see.

On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 1:12 AM, Yaakov Stein <yaakov_s at rad.com> wrote:

> 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 ?

Gen 27:29 is the verb HWH, Is 16:4 is the interjection HWY (Hoy!) "Woe!"

> Exodus 9:6 seems to be an intermediate case
> where the word could be simply "be there"
> or something more ominous.

It is not found in Exodus 9:6.

> Are any related to "worthwhile" as it appears in Koh 2:22 ?
> Where does "worthwhile" come from? It doesn't fit.

> A similar root seems to mean "fall" in Job 27:6

???? There's nothing about "falling" 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

 I hope this helps.

Karl W. Randolph.

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