[b-hebrew] נצח

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Tue Dec 14 14:26:18 EST 2010

Hello all:

Does this little word testify to the big fact that individual words possess
no meaning outside of actual usage?

In Isaiah  63:3,

פורה דרכתי לבדי ומעמים אין איש אתי ואדרכם באפי וארמסם בחמתי ויז נצחם על בגדי
וכל מלבושי אגאלתי

the operative word נצח becomes "grape juice," figurative of blood.

In 2 Chronicles 2:18,

ויעש מהם שבעים אלף סבל ושמנים אלף חצב בהר ושלשת אלפים ושש מאות מנצחים להעביד
את העם

the relevant word נצח changes course entirely, and becomes "ones managing."

In Lamentations 3:18,

ואמר אבד נצחי ותוחלתי מיהוה

the word in question נצח moves again substantially in meaning to "strength."

Returning to Isaiah, 13:20,

לא תשב לנצח ולא תשכן עד דור ודור ולא יהל שם ערבי ורעים לא ירבצו  שם

the word reverses course yet again into a "long period of time."

Of course, an alternate conclusion presents itself. Does the leningrad codex
include an amalgam of different languages compiled into the form of single
document, via centuries of creating and editing pieces and parts of it? Such
a conclusion would permit the use of dictionaries, whereas the original
conclusion would not. For if the word depends entirely on what a user
chooses for meaning, in his arbitrary wisdom, then until used, it has no
meaning at all.

I welcome your comments.


fred burlingame

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