[b-hebrew] verb conjugations, Pr. 5:5 & 6

Gerry Folbre gfolbreiii at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 09:21:12 EDT 2009

Karl:  I screwed up (regardless of how hard I try not to) on the
transcription of Proverbs 5:6.  I will correct that error now: Pr. 5:6
should read:
ארח חיים פן תפלס  נעו מעגלתיה לא תדע׃
I apologize for the typo-error.  If my little finger reaches over too far a
פ becomes an ע.  My bad.  I will also correct it below.

I get the Kethib version of Pr. 5:5 & 6 from the Masoretic Hebrew text,
Codex Leningrad B19A, taken from Biblia Hegraica Stuttgartensia (BHS)
1967/77, 1983, Vierte verbesserte Auflage 1990.

Now I need to explain my variant reading. My interpretation of Pr. 5:5 & 6
appears to me to flow in context with one another.  The father tells the
son: Pr. 5:5 Her steps go down to death; the grave her steps lay hold of.
Pr. 5:6 A path of life that you do not maintain; her unstable ways you will
not know.

The father is telling the son that her steps go down to death, and the grave
takes hold of her steps.  Then the father warns his son, essentially saying,
"A path of life that you do not maintain makes you vulnerable to her
unstable ways that are unknown to you.

How I justify that this particular verbal clause is Piel {intensive):  The
content of the verses above suggest to me that the father is making a very
important point to his son.  The very idea that if the son does not follow
his father's guidance and counsel the son may well stray from the path of
life and follow the woman to death and the grave.  It would make logical
sense that the verbal clause, תפלס = you {must} make smooth/maintain, would
denote an intensive clause.

That is my take on it.  Furthermore, sorry about the typo earlier.
Gerry Folbre

On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 6:08 AM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:

> Gerry:
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 4:40 AM, Gerry Folbre <gfolbreiii at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > The Kethib version of Pr. 5:6 reads as follows:
> >
> > ארח חיים פן תפלס  נעו מעגלתיה לא תדע׃
> >
> > Gerry Folbre
> Where do you get that ketib version of the verse? It is different from the
> Westminster Leningrad Codex which, as I understand, is the basis for all
> scholarly versions on the market, including the latest Biblica Hebreica
> from
> Stuttgart as well as all the online versions that I know of.
> Now you have to explain your variant reading, then get back to explaining
> how you justify that it is a piel.
> Karl W. Randolph.
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