[b-hebrew] Judges 5:2, two questions

Dana Densmore verdelion at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 30 15:03:12 EDT 2008

B-hebrew listmembers, I have two questions about this verse in the song of Deborah to offer for your expertise and insights.  Judges 5:2.

1.  re the verb root PR( and its associated noun.  Whether we are taking it to be related to leading/leaders or to the unbinding of hair, we have the masculine singular noun in the same form PERA( appearing in what I (and BDB) take to be a plural noun PR(WT.   

My question is whether there are other singular nouns of a similar form whose plural looks like this.  Is it common for an --A( patach ayin ending to be pluralized like a --AH ending?  Did it sound to the ear like an --AH feminine form and thus get a feminine form plural? (I'm not bothered by the fact that the noun is masculine, that's not my question.)  When it's an --AH singular it just goes to --WT replacing the AH; here it maintains the ayin and adds the WT.  Where else, if anywhere, does this happen?

2.  The last two words of the verse certainly could be an imperative, [you pl] Bless YHVH.  And given the context of the Song, that seems probably most likely.  But is there any internal evidence that would prevent the sense of the verse from being "when men were unbinding their hair in Israel [or the leaders leading], and when the people were offering themselves, they blessed YHVH."  That is, that their coming out for the war at Deborah's/YHVH's call was an act of blessing.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

Dana Densmore
University of Wales


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