[b-hebrew] Deut 32 KPR (J. Mohler)

Jonathan Mohler jonathan.mohler at gmail.com
Fri Dec 28 04:27:25 EST 2012


Karl,

I've enjoyed the Deut. 32:8-9 discussion. I have a few comments:

1. KPR as Noun:

a. It seems to me KPR as a noun with elipsed hayah would call for a prepositional ל, i.e.: לאדמתש
b. W + KPR fronted in the clause is usually the Subject, and often signals a change, like new paragraph or antithesis.
c. a Verb seems to flow right out of the momentum set by the two preceding verbs.
d. Nir suggested "his people" as the subject, but this would represent a VOS word order. This would be bizarre in a clause fronted by a WC.

2. KPR as "cover" not "smear" :

I totally agree with you. There is no need to run to a cognate language for a root as pervasively common as KPR.  Comparative philology should be reserved for hapax legomenon. 

3.  (MW "his people" vs "with him:"

a. If context is king, especially immediate context and its structure, then "his people" completes a chiastic parallelism -->
A. his people
B. vengeance
B1. vengeance
A1. his people
b. ADMTW --> It's seems more likely that a scribe could have omitted the waw that was attached to (MW, because the two waw's followed each other.

4. The veracity of oral tradition coupled with the fact that this is a song discourages me from emendation so far removed from the Masoretic choice.
...
Jonathan Mohler


On Dec 27, 2012, at 11:00 AM, b-hebrew-request at lists.ibiblio.org wrote:

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>   1. Re: KPR (K Randolph)
>   2. Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (kenneth greifer)
>   3. Re: Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (K Randolph)
>   4. Re: context (Michael Abernathy)
>   5. Re: Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (kenneth greifer)
>   6. Re: Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (kenneth greifer)
>   7. Re: Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (Barry)
> 
> From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Date: December 26, 2012 1:43:02 PM CST
> To: "Nir cohen - Prof. Mat." <nir at ccet.ufrn.br>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] KPR
> 
> 
> Nir:
> 
> On Tue, Dec 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM, Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. <nir at ccet.ufrn.br> wrote:
> 
> karl,
> 
> thanks for your reply.
> 
> De: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Data: Mon, 24 Dec 2012 13:01:35 -0800
> >>> Third, “his people” isn’t referenced in this verse.
> 
> you are jumping to hasty conclusions here.
> let us stick to the facts. this word appears 4
> times in this chapter, three of them clearly mean "his people"
> but not "with him". on the fourth, it is your private opinion
> that (MW reads "with him", contrary to all the
> accepted translations.
> 
> Each time a word appears in a chapter, it needs to be analyzed on its own merits, within its own context, not how it’s used elsewhere, even in the same chapter, or even in the same verse. That’s especially true of Biblical Hebrew which has many homographs that come from different roots, that are homographs because Biblical Hebrew doesn’t include vowels (those homographs may very well have had very different pronunciations).
> 
> As for translations—I long ago realized that translators very often stick to tradition more than they do to independent research. One of those traditions is the Masoretic points, which is followed almost religiously. (Remember, in this verse, I claim that the Masoretic points are wrong.)
> 
> Translation and understanding a language from within are two similar but very different activities. That’s why I cannot accept a translation as proof, rather merely as how the translator understood the text.
> 
> ---------------
> 
> >> Other than the theological explanations you listed ...
> >>> ... it raises a warning flag in my mind
> 
> this is a kind of empty accusation to which no answer is
> possible, or worth while. after all, we are discussing a
> theological document, a theological-national ode of victory
> and a theologically charged root. can we ignore all that?
> 
> This is based on my experiences with theologians and how they treat Biblically based questions that may go against a teaching of their theological organization.
> 
> besides, you can rest assured i have no theological inclinations whatsoever.
> 
> No, I didn’t accuse you of theological inclinations, rather that the references to which you linked have theological inclinations. 
> 
> ------------------------
> 
> >>> is there any verse where KPR is necessarily connected to the meaning of
> “wipe out”? I know of none.
> 
> as there is absolute divergence among the scholars what is the basic
> hebrew meaning of the verb KPR, rather than the derived meaning
> "expiate", we are both at a dead end here. but "wipe off/wipe out"
> is indeed among the main candidates, along with "cover" and
> "annul" etc. see the three sources quoted in my last email.
> 
> Yes, but they don’t refer to Hebrew or Tanakh as justification for their speculations. 
> 
> “Annul” is an extrapolation that is somewhat far out of a use that I mentioned.
> 
> few places have the explicit sense of "cover". maybe only once in gen 6 where
> it oddly is in binyan QAL and could also be translated as "smear". some
> corroborating evidence for "cover" comes from arabic.
> 
> Where can it be translated as “smear”? I mean in a non-theological setting?
> 
> on the other hand, the verbs KPR and MXH=wipe out are parallel in
> jer 18:23.
> 
> Which doesn’t mean that they have the same or even similar meanings. The meanings can be very different but complimentary in a verse. BTW the phrase there is KPR (L.
>  
> a less clear, but perhaps more DRASH thought-provoking,
> juxtaposition of the two verbs is found in ex. 30-33. for "wipe off/wipe
> out" once again i suggest p 28-29 of "blood rituals" in
> 
> http://books.google.com.br/books?id=qfddOUt3K-QC&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=KPR+hebrew+wipe&source=bl&ots=DTbTOP-9Cy&sig=gGdNvObZUOwuJC17ZMBlTB6lMyQ&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ei=fXfaUKKIPIyK8QSN7YGAAQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=KPR%20hebrew%20wipe&f=false
> 
> he reaches the conclusion that (i) a likely translation for the D-form of
> KPR in akkadian (parallel to hebrew piel) is "wipe off/remove by wiping" and
> similars. (ii) it is possible that the original BH meaning was similar.
> tim hegg in
> 
> http://www.google.com.br/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.torahresource.com%2FEnglishArticles%2Fkafar%2520study.mell.pdf&ei=fXfaUKKIPIyK8QSN7YGAAQ&usg=AFQjCNHZ9OgWHZcUSRN5Q1u3A8p4Od2ewg&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.eWU
> 
> also cites "wipe off/wipe out" as a hebrew possibility.
> 
> Every example to which you have linked base their speculation on cognate languages. I have repeatedly claimed that such attribution is a bruised reed—sometimes useful, sometimes counter-indicative—that needs to be treated with the utmost caution and not as a proof. For proof you need to show examples from Tanakh itself, and so far you’ve failed, as well as all the others.
> 
> Part of the problem here is the history of Hebrew scholarship in the last two centuries: so much of it is based on the German anti-Semitic musings of the early 19th century, who considered Jews to be such simple-minded rubes that they couldn’t consider using words sometimes literally, sometimes idiomatically. Among these were Gesenius and his disciples such as BDB.
> 
> (The reason for my dictionary started with using the above dictionaries, and realizing that their glosses didn’t fit the contexts I was reading. So I started writing notes in the margins.)
> 
> As for me, I see no problem with an idiomatic use of the word very similarly to the idiomatic phrase “I’ll cover the cost” in English. As such it’s used for payments, redemption costs and bribes in Tanakh. There’s no need for speculation for a separate meaning of “smear” for this word. Especially apart from any evidence within Hebrew for that meaning.
> 
> Tim Hegg begs the question, simply assumes that Averbeck is correct and Akkadian cognate use is proof. None of the verses cited in this article have “to smear” as a necessary meaning for KPR. Literal or idiomatic uses of “to cover” fit just as well as, if not better than, “to smear”.
> 
>     -------------------------
> 
> >> I need to see it in Tanakh in order to say that it’s relevant.
> 
> i respect your opinion but do not accept it as a necessary
> prerequisite for any meaningful discussion.
> 
> My opinion is not important. I view evidence as a necessary prerequisite for meaningful discussion. Reasons given above. 
> 
> nir cohen
> 
> Karl W. Randolph. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Date: December 26, 2012 3:13:29 PM CST
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> 
> 
> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
> 
> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?
> 
> Kenneth Greifer
> http://www.messianicmistakes.com/
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Date: December 26, 2012 4:06:22 PM CST
> To: kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> 
> 
> Kenneth:
> 
> Why shouldn’t we consider that the verse divisions are wrong, that the final phrase of verse 8 really belongs as the first phrase of verse 9? Then you’d have verse 8 referring to the nations (Is there any case where Israel is referred to as nations (plural)?) and verse 9 to Israel?
> 
> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM, kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com> wrote:
> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
> 
> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?
> 
> Kenneth Greifer
> http://www.messianicmistakes.com/
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: Michael Abernathy <mabernathy at conwaycorp.net>
> Date: December 26, 2012 6:08:11 PM CST
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] context
> 
> 
> As a result of the recent dialogue with Karl on Deuteronomy 32:43, I would like to ask a question.  Karl insists that we take  כפר as a noun because of context.  No offense to Karl but I find that most people are pretty choosy about picking the evidence that supports their interpretation when they argue from context.  So here is my question, what linguistic tools do you prefer for studying context?  Personally, I prefer propositional analysis to sentence outlines.
> 
> Sincerely,
> Michael Abernathy
> 
> 
> 
> From: kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Date: December 26, 2012 8:22:47 PM CST
> To: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> 
> 
> Karl,
>  
> The only place I could find that calls Israel two nations is in Ezekiel37:22 about the two kingdoms becoming one nation. I don't think the tribes were called peoples usually, but maybe they could have been called that.
>  
> Your idea of combining verses differently sounds interesting. I have never heard that before. I don't think you are right because the verses sound a little funny. I think the usual way sounds better. I have to think about  it more.
>  
> Kenneth Greifer
> P.S. Am I supposed to reply to all or just press reply? I never understood exactly how you reply on B-Hebrew. If I reply to all, does that send emails to everyone else on my contact list?
> 
> --- On Wed, 12/26/12, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> To: "kenneth greifer" <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 5:06 PM
> 
> Kenneth:
> 
> Why shouldn’t we consider that the verse divisions are wrong, that the final phrase of verse 8 really belongs as the first phrase of verse 9? Then you’d have verse 8 referring to the nations (Is there any case where Israel is referred to as nations (plural)?) and verse 9 to Israel?
> 
> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM, kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com> wrote:
> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
> 
> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?
> 
> Kenneth Greifer
> http://www.messianicmistakes.com/
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Date: December 26, 2012 9:26:37 PM CST
> To: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> 
> 
> Karl,
>  
> The usual translation is "when the Most High gave nations inheritances, when He divided sons of mankind..."
>  
> What if it says, "when the highest of nations (Israel) gave inheritances, when it (he) divided sons of a man, he (it) will set up (will be caused to set up) (hophal?) borders of peoples (the tribes)  for the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His (his) people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance"?
> G-d said Israel would be the highest of nations in Deut. 26:19 and 28:1.
>  
> Kenneth Greifer
> --- On Wed, 12/26/12, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> From: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> To: "kenneth greifer" <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com>
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 5:06 PM
> 
> Kenneth:
> 
> Why shouldn’t we consider that the verse divisions are wrong, that the final phrase of verse 8 really belongs as the first phrase of verse 9? Then you’d have verse 8 referring to the nations (Is there any case where Israel is referred to as nations (plural)?) and verse 9 to Israel?
> 
> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM, kenneth greifer <kenneth at messianicmistakes.com> wrote:
> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
> 
> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
> 
> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?
> 
> Kenneth Greifer
> http://www.messianicmistakes.com/
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: Barry <nebarry at verizon.net>
> Date: December 26, 2012 10:43:48 PM CST
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9
> 
> 
> On 12/26/2012 4:13 PM, kenneth greifer wrote:
>> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
>> 
>> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
>> 
>> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
>> 
>> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?
> 
> "Sons of..." is a common Hebrew idiom for "descendents." In this case, it can only mean the descendents of Adam as the human race. Note the parallelism between the nations, the sons of Adam and the borders of the peoples. This again suggests that the phrase refers to the human race as a whole.
> 
> BTW, if you hit reply all, it does not send to everyone in your address book, but only those listed in the "from" and "cc" fields in the specific email to which you are responding. Hitting "reply all" in b-Hebrew means you send a copy to the list and to the specific person who wrote the response (so he or she gets two copies and every other subscriber gets 1). Thunderbird has a nifty "reply to list" feature that helps avoid that, but most email clients don't have that. So if you want everyone on the list to read your responses, the safest thing to do is hit "reply all."
> 
> 
> -- 
> N.E. Barry Hofstetter
> Semper melius Latine sonat
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