[b-hebrew] ejectment vs. extermination

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Thu Dec 9 16:23:54 EST 2010

Hello Yigal:

I appreciate your clear and instructive comments.

I understand, on the one hand, we have the hebrew original language document
and different hebrew versions of it.

I also understand that, on the other hand, we have the alien language
translations of the hebrew language document.

And since word for word transference from one language to another generally
fails, for the reasons you state,  translation necessarily becomes

So, perhaps if I comprehend the difference, it boils down to (at least in
this instance):

a. the hebrew language employs the "pure" word (as in "pure mathematics");

b. the alien (to hebrew) language translations employ the "applied" word(s)
(as in "applied mathematics").

So, "b" facilitates understanding of, but never equates with, "a."

I also note that verse 53 in this instance could imply the "missing" phrase
from verse 52 " כל ישבי  "  , by reason of the proximity of verse 53 to
verse 52.

As for "arrogance," I think perhaps you miss the context of these
manuscripts/books (5th, 10th, 15th and 20th centuries). We are talking about
money & power here; and lots of both.



Hence, the unpleasant question must be asked. Were these manuscripts/books
created in a vacuum (as the discussion in b-hebrew forum generally
proceeds); or with due regard to the real world political and economic
realities (and implications of such manuscripts/books) ? For if so, the
meaning of the words in the manuscripts/books becomes subject to change;
witness the most prominent and controversial word of all .... עולם .

Here in b-hebrew, it just means "concealed;" but out in the real world ....
$billions and kingdoms turn on "eternity," the new incarnation of עולם ; and
the power that little word invests in the purveyors of it.

Who was the sponsor of the codices sinaiticus and vaticanus? Constantine the
Great? Surely, the average individual or business lacked the $millions in
today's money necessary to produce such a manuscript. Likewise, for the
targumims and the leningrad codex.


fred burlingame

On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 12:00 AM, Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:

> Fred, you once again do not recognize the difference between "versions" and
> "interpretations". Since the book of Numbers was originally written in
> Hebrew, different "versions" would use different Hebrew words. The Dead Sea
> Scrolls occasionally give us such different wordings in Hebrew. The
> Septuagint, although it is a Greek translation, can sometimes also reflect a
> different Hebrew text "version" than the existing MT.
> However in most cases, translations are really interpretations. Since there
> is often no one-on-one match between words in different languages, and most
> words can have different meanings depending on context, the translator first
> has to decide exactly what a word means in the original, and then decide
> which word in the "target" language best fits that meaning in that context.
> The root YR$ basically means "to take possession". Depending on context,
> that taking possession can be done peacefully or by force. Notice that in
> Numbers 33, the verb is used once in vs. 52, and then twice in vs. 53. In
> verse 52, the context obviously refers to the Israelites' taking possession
> of the land by force and destroying the inhabitants object of worship. Since
> "take possession of by force" is a mouthful, various translations, from the
> Septuagint through the Aramaic targumim to modern English, all give what
> they think the context demands: "destroy", "drive out", "kill" and "eject"
> are not really translations, but interpretations.
> Now look at vs. 53, which starts with the same word. Here the object of YR$
> is "the land", rather than its inhabitants. The Septuagint, at least in the
> "Apostolic" on-line version, adds the word "the ones dwelling in" so that it
> can retain the same meaning of YR$. Interestingly enough, so the Targumim.
> This could, in theory, mean that there was a Hebrew "version" in which these
> words were also repeated in vs. 53. On the other hand, take a look at this
> Greek version http://en.katabiblon.com/us/index.php?text=LXX&book=Nm&ch=33,
> which does not, but simply translates vs. 53 as "inherit". The Vulgate
> basically has "And you shall inherit the land and inhabit it". And as you
> have shown, the various English translations each choose what they think the
> verse should mean. Which is why you should always read the Bible in Hebrew.
> Your final link, to the NIV translators notes, is interesting. They admit
> the necessity of updating their translation every few decades, because of
> both changes in English usage and because advances in scholarship give us
> better insights as to what the authors really meant. Although, if they
> really think that there readers in 2010 do not know that "alien" does not
> refer to an extraterrestrial they apparently have a very low opinion of
> their readers. But their claim that they now render "exactly what God wanted
> to say" is so unspeakably arrogant that I really have no more to say.
> Yigal Levin
> - <b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org>

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