[b-hebrew] addition and subtraction

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Fri Dec 31 19:07:28 EST 2010

Hello Bryant;

Thanks for your thorough comments on these two word meanings.

Those meanings appear to impel the conclusion of a "french judicial system"
versus an "english judicial system," and in contradistinction to the
conclusion of the תלמוד .

Or to put it another way, the future, countless, anticipated court rulings
(deuteronomy 17:9) down through the generations, were not intended to be
reduced to writing and added to the box (deuteronomy 31:26), as new


fred burlingame

On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM, Bryant J. Williams III <bjwvmw at com-pair.net
> wrote:

> Dear Fred,
> Strong #1674 = TWOT # 384, Vol. 1, p. 173, by Harold G. Stigers,
>    "The root signifies a reduction of quantity of things or of social or
> religious activities.
>    The Israelites, during their bondage in Egypt,  were not permitted to
> lower
> their production of bricks, even when forced to gather their own straw (Ex
> 5:7-8). The inevitable reduced count was attributed to idleness on their
> part
> (5:17).
>    Women were not allowed to marry outside their tribes if they were heirs
> to
> property, in order to avoid diminishing the tribe's economic standing (Num
> 9:7).
> The ordinances of God must not be diminished or added to in their smallest
> parts
> that Israel might have the larger blessing (Deut 4:2; cf. Rev 22:18-19).
> The
> many progeny promised to the faithful would be cut down if they turned away
> from
> God (Ezk 5:11).
>    Whereas Eliphaz accuses Job of repressing meditation before God and
> limiting
> wisdom to himself, Job learns that God does not forsake (withdraw from) the
> righteous, which widens his perspective. (Job 36:7).
>    In the marriage relationship the rights of a secondary wife to food,
> clothing or conjugal relations may not be diminished (Ex 21:10)."
> Strong #3254 = TWOT #876, Vol. 1, pp. 385-386, by Paul R. Gilchrist,
>    "yasap occurs almost two hundred times, mostly in the Qal and Hiphil
> (six
> times in the Niphal). The LXX translates usually with PROSTIQEMI. No
> cognate is
> found in Ugaritic.
>    A very common usage of yasap is "to do again," as Gen 4:2, "And again,
> she
> gave birth to this brother Abel" (cf. 38:5). In the case of Abraham taking
> Keturah as wife, Gen 25:1 state, "Now Abraham had taken another [lit. added
> or
> took again a] wife." Sometimes, especially with a negative particle, it is
> translated "no more" as in the moving scene where Judah quotes Joseph,
> "Unless
> your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more"
> (lit.
> you shall not add to; see Gen 44:23).
>    The literal idea "to add" is clearly evident in Lev 27:13, 15, 19, 27
> where
> repeatedly Moses writes about the person who makes avow that "he shall add
> a
> fifth of the value" if he should wish to redeem an object or property. The
> case
> of Hezekiah also is to the point, where in response to his prayer, the Lord
> promises, "I will add fifteen years to your life" (Isa 38:5). Rachel, in
> naming
> her firstborn Joseph, prays, "May the Lord give me [lit. add to me] another
> son." Both Isaiah and Rachel acknowledge that longevity and progeny are at
> the
> sovereign discretion of God. In this connection observe Prov 10:27 "The
> fear of
> the Lord prolongeth days." See also Prov 9:11.
>    There is a negative note in connection with yasap. This the human
> ethical
> problem of sin. It is first encountered with Pharoah, "But when Pharoah saw
> that
> the rain and the hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again (lit. he added to
> sin)
> and hardened his heart" (Ex 9:34). But this is the case even with the
> people of
> God, as the recurring phrase "and the children of Israel did evil again
> (lit.
> added to do evil) in the sight of the Lord" (3:12; 10:6, etc.). This
> heaping up
> of something need not be totally negative. Psalm 71:14 quotes the psalmist
> as
> saying, "I will increase thy praise" or as KJV "and will yet praise thee
> more
> and more."
>    Nevertheless, there are instances where a positive note is struck. The
> incorporation of men into a society occurs several times. A striking
> episode is
> the concern expressed by the Egyptians over the growth of the Israelite
> population: "Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in
> the
> event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us and fight
> against
> us" (Ex 1:10). The Psalmist prays, "May the Lord give you increase, you and
> your
> children" (Ps 115:13).Cf. Is 14:1. One should note the similar NT usage in
> Acts
> 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24, where "believers were continually added to the
> Lord,"
> i.e. the Lord was adding them to the church (passive rather than middle,
> "they
> joined themselves"). There is in this connection, an eschatological hope in
> the
> OT related to the doctrine of the remnant, i.e. "and the surviving remnant
> of
> the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward,
> for out
> of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors" (II
> Kgs
> 19:30, 31). Admittedly this prophecy may have been fulfilled in part either
> after Sennacharib's army was decimated or following the Babylonian exile,
> nevertheless if the writer understands Rom 11 aright, the apostle Paul
> confidently hoped for an even greater and more glorious fulfillment. (Nah
> 1:15
> [2:1].) In similar vein, Jeremiah speaking of the regathered people of
> Israel,
> says, "And their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall never
> languish again" (31:12). Note also Isa 52:1 where Jerusalem is called to
> awake,
> "For the uncircumcised and the unclean will no more come into you" (cf. Rev
> 22:14-15).
>    yasap is frequently used as part of an oath, as for example, when Ruth
> entreats Naomi not to force her to leave, "for where you go I will go, and
> where
> you lodge I will lodge; your people will be my people and your God my
> God....May
> the Lord do so to me and more also (lit. so may he add) if even death parts
> me
> from you" (Ruth 1:17). Cf. also I Sam 3:17; II Sam 3:9, 19:13 [H 14].
>    The phrase "to do so to me and more also" seems to involve ellipsis,
> which
> may be understood when the expression is completed, such as "so may he add
> curses upon me if." This is plausible when one reads in the treaties of the
> nearby kings the list of blessings for obedience but longer list of curses
> for
> disobedience or rebellion."
> [Bryant]
>    You will notice that the both words are used in various legal, ethical
> and
> cultural contexts. It is necessary to make that distinction. It is also
> necessary to remember that when used in a legal context, that it is
> referring
> NOT to man's laws, but the "written" Law of God as revealed to Moses. It is
> based on God's character (See Tsaddiq and cognates).
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

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