[b-hebrew] NPL: a biblical pitfall and on the rise!

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Wed Sep 21 19:44:51 EDT 2011


i, too, am amazed at your originality of argument.

1. (L-PNY (over, upon) cannot be confused with L-PNY (before, in front).

2. the only reasonable context in which NPL is used as "die", then and today,
unfortunately, is in the battle field, or in an act of violence. or if not, 
i dare you to find a counter-example.

i recall the recent argument about the famous year 13, in which the "local
kings" fled from the attack and got stuck in the mud holes of the dead 
sea. there, too, the verb is NPLW (and, this was in the battle field!), yet
miraculously shortly after that they were having a party with abraham. 

there, too, NPLW is not die.

3. the only reasonable translation here is, in my opinion: yishma´el 
became dominant/prominent/senior (perhaps even aggressive) over all his brothers. 

4. grammatically the event "die" would call for WYPL (wayiqtol), 
whereas the progressive "became dominant" indeed justifies qatal: NPL.

5. true, NPL "seems" to come from "go down", "stoop down", "fall" etc; 
but surely this is a MODERN perspective. in fact, an ancient verb 
meaning UP came to mean DOWN, simply because... whatever goes up always 
falls down, eventually. let us look at the evidence:

*** HPYL is used as "hurled", which may have been synonymous,originally, to
"throw upwards". 

*** NPYL is used as "giant", i.e. huge. 

*** so is TPYLH, a prayer directed, supposedly, upwards. 

*** even "PL)" may come from something larger than life ( WYPL) MMNW
(grew bwyond him) etc etc). and NPL) is used as synonymous of the 
english "great"!

*** PYL=elephant is also UP! 

*** speculation: PWL may refer to a plant which grows fast upwards, as in

*** PLH = pick UP (said on a monkey PWLL(!!!)ing fleas from a colleague's skin).

(david, isaac, food for thought?)

(i wonder if there is any relation with PULL, PILLAR, PALLACE, 
BALLENA=whale etc)

(then we have the semitic BL/PL in the godly name BL, B(L, and 
names of many kings, but i am drifting apart...)


i agree that both uses, UP and DOWN, for NPL are found in the OT, as in
WYPL (L PNIW etc. but here the UP reading is so much more natural 
than the DOWN reading, and is backed up by grammar.

conclusion: NPL (L-PNY in this phrase has the same root as NPYL=(big, high)
and has nothing to do with either death or anteriority. otherwise, the text
would have simply said WYMT LPNY..., as it does in so many other biblical deaths.

nir cohen

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