[b-hebrew] Ecles 10:2

Barry H. nebarry at verizon.net
Wed Apr 6 23:42:53 EDT 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Athas" <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>
To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10:34 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Ecles 10:2

> Doug,
> The term 'hand' (יד) is not actually there in the Hebrew text. This is not 
> a political statement (they wouldn't have had the right-left political 
> spectrum we refer to today). Instead, it is a reference to the generic 
> ancient belief that the right hand side was proper and 'right' (we even 
> preserve this notion in our English term), while the left was improper, 
> weak, or sinister. This notion of the 'sinister' is still preserved in 
> some Latin-based languages like Italian, in which 'left' is 'la sinistra'.

Indeed, the Latin word for "left" is 'sinister' and carries precisely that 
range of meaning -- it can mean literally "left-handed" or "on the left 
side," or it can mean what we mean by "improper, weak, or sinister."

N.E. Barry Hofstetter, semper melius Latine sonat...
Classics and Bible Instructor, TAA
(2010 Salvatori Excellence in Education Winner)
V-P of Academic Affairs, TNARS
bhofstetter at tnars.net


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