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

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Oct 31 10:30:25 EDT 2008


Dana,

You may want to contemplate the affinity of the Hebrew roots PR(,  
'ruffle, fray, disturb, disperse', PR), 'wild, unruly frenzied', PRH,  
'frunctify', and the PRD-PRZ-PRT-PRS-PRC-PR$, 'disperse, spread'  
family of roots.
I would admit with you that the meaning PRA(OT of Judges 5:2 may be  
open to interpretations, but in my humble opinion the rendering of  
the New American Bible of the verse as: "Of chiefs who took the lead  
in Israel, of noble deeds by the people who bless the LORD", is  
misguided.
In present-day Hebrew PRA(OT is universally accepted to mean 'riots,  
pogroms, uprisings, rebelions'.

Isaac Fried
Boston University

On Oct 30, 2008, at 3:03 PM, Dana Densmore 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.
>
> 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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