[b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Nov 11 00:35:11 EST 2009


Naama,

It appears to me that אדמה is solid, אטמה, עצמה, while  
עפר like אפר is powder.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Nov 10, 2009, at 4:51 PM, Naama Zahavi-Ely wrote:

> Yes -- except that the word "ground" is usually used for an expanse  
> of material, not for the material it is made of.  You don't usually  
> pick up a pinch of ground; you can definitely do that with עפר.   
> A closer equivalent to the English word "ground" is אדמה.  But  
> languages do not match in word boundaries as a rule.  That's why  
> translating is such a fascinating task.
>
> Best
>
> Naama
>
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 16:05:15 -0500
>> From: Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew]  watered ground & forming dust
>> To: nxzaha at wm.edu
>> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>
>> Naama,
>>
>> Ground sounds good. Compare the root עפר with the roots אפר,
>> אבר, עבר, עור, פרר, ברר.
>>
>> Isaac Fried
>> Boston University
>>
>> On Nov 10, 2009, at 2:44 PM, Naama Zahavi-Ely wrote:
>>
>>> Shalom!
>>>
>>> The problem is that you are dealing through English with something
>>> for which there is no good English term.  I run into this problem
>>> every year as I read the text of Genesis 1-3 with intermediate
>>> Hebrew students.  "Afar," which is translated as "dust," is
>>> actually not (dry, wind-blown) dust but rather earth/soil as
>>> material -- that is, the collective term for particles of earth
>>> that one can pick up and pinch between one's fingers.  It can be
>>> dry or moist, and it can be formed.  I have not been able to find a
>>> better English word -- every possibility I can think of has other
>>> connotations that are misleading (ground?  earth?  soil?).
>>>
>>> I also agree with Yigal's reasoning -- you can't apply Aristotelian
>>> logic to the Hebrew Bible (or for that matter to most usage of any
>>> language).  But in this case, the argument is not necessary.
>>>
>>> Best wishes
>>>
>>> Naama Zahavi-Ely
>>> College of William and Mary
>>>
>>>> Message: 3
>>>> Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 17:59:46 -0700
>>>> From: Gerry Folbre <gfolbreiii at gmail.com>
>>>> Subject: [b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust
>>>> To: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>>>> Message-ID:
>>>> 	<a79631010911091659rf59c74ewaf2c29d1d0c10644 at mail.gmail.com>
>>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>>>
>>>> I would like to discuss what I perceive as incongruent anomalies
>>>> composed
>>>> within Gen. 2:6b & 2:7a.
>>>>
>>>> Gen. 2:6b ????? ???????????????? ...  {and irrigated [watered/made
>>>> wet] the
>>>> whole face of the ground).
>>>>
>>>> Gen. 2:7a ... ????? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ????????  {and it
>>>> formed the
>>>> human archetype of dust from the ground ...)
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Gen. 2:6b states that the entire face (surface) of the ground is
>>>> irrigated.
>>>> But then Gen. 2:7a not only describes ?dry, loose earth (or dust)?
>>>> being
>>>> found upon the newly irrigated surface of the ground, Gen. 2:7a  
>>>> also
>>>> apparently stats that somehow this ?dry, loose earth (dust)? can
>>>> somehow be
>>>> ?formed?.  However, ?dust (dry, loose earth) from the ground? is
>>>> not an
>>>> earthly substance that lends itself to being ?formed {like a
>>>> potter forms a
>>>> vessel)?.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> If there is anyone who may have some constructive insight into  
>>>> these
>>>> contextual anomalies, I look forward to discussing these subjects
>>>> with you.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Gerry Folbre
>>>>
>>>>
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>>




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