[b-hebrew] Translation theory and NP$

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 13:28:14 EDT 2009

Rolf and Bryant:
This is getting into theology, but looking at the meanings of words then
draw one’s own conclusions one finds:

NP$ as far as I can tell is expresses the idea of breath, life force. As a
verb, it has the idea of “to take a breather” i.e. to stop to catch one’s
breath, a stop to rest and regain strength. As a noun, it refers to those
who have breath, often used alone as a synonym for a living person.

In both verbal and noun usages, it is used close to 700 times in Tanakh.

Ps 16:10, 30:4 seem to indicate that the life force still exists even after
death and can be in the place of the dead, namely $)WL.

Other references apart from the word NP$ indicate that $)WL is the place of
the dead where they yet live, similar to BWR when used as a euphemism for
the place of the dead, though occasionally the terms $)WL and BWR are used
in a manner as “hell” where the just don’t go, not even after death, e.g. Ps
86:13, Pr 23:14. This is in contrast to QBR where bodies are laid.

While the theology of the immortal soul is not well developed as in later
Christian theology, it appears that the seeds thereof are discernible in a
few verses in Tanakh.

Just my 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.

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