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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Oct 31 06:54:01 EDT 2008

Thanks for an interesting question.

On Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM, Dana Densmore <verdelion at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.
> The verb means "to set loose, as free from restraint" and the noun
feminine refers to a troop that acts in an unrestrained manner. Later in the
context, verses 6 and following, we see that the people were afraid to leave
walled villages because of the danger they faced.

> 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.
> This is the equivalent to the English phrase "Praise the Lord!"

> Thanks for your thoughts on this.
> Dana Densmore
> University of Wales
> This first verse of the song sets up the theme. "While the troops without
restraint were set loose in Israel, praise the Lord that the people

Karl W. Randolph.

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