[b-hebrew] Sane' and Bazah

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Fri Nov 9 08:32:54 EST 2012


Mike,

That excerpt you've given is committing a semantic fallacy. It's looking at the nuance of the word in one context and then assuming that all occurrences of that word have the same nuance. But who's to say which particular occurrence should mark the norm? The problem with all this is that it misunderstands semantic ranges (a linguistic issue), as well as the use of rhetoric by a creative author (a literary issue). We're talking about literature here, not modern-day legislation with fixed technical meanings. שׂנא can mean anything from hating, to divorcing, to being hostile, to disliking. Each context must be taken on its own. I would not say that בזה has the same meaning as שׂנא, though there is a slight semantic overlap in certain contexts. It's not a substantial overlap, though.

Context will tell you that when I say I hate broccoli (a piece of food) I mean something completely different to when I say I hate my enemy (a person). Take your cues from the specific markers within a given context, and don't feel the need to use those cues in that context to determine the nuance of the word in other contexts that have other cues. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a tragic exegetical fallacy that makes for very poor reading and interpreting.

So does that except capture the meaning of שׂנא? No. It might capture a nuance in one context, but it doesn't exhaust the meaning of the word.


GEORGE ATHAS
Dean of Research,
Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
Sydney, Australia


From: Mike Burke <michaelgburk at yahoo.com<mailto:michaelgburk at yahoo.com>>
Reply-To: Mike Burke <michaelgburk at yahoo.com<mailto:michaelgburk at yahoo.com>>
Date: Friday, 9 November 2012 2:56 PM
To: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net<mailto:jkilmon at historian.net>>, B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org<mailto:b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Sane' and Bazah

I was just reading this, and wondering if it's on the mark?

SANE'
Love and hate are two words truly misunderstood and extremely overused. Love is used for everything from fried chicken to YHVH himself. The word hate is equally spread out from broccoli to Osama bin Laden. Scripturally, this word is from the Hebrew sane'
(saw nay). It is most notably seen in the several occasions of YHVH's feeling toward Ya'akov and Esav. "Ya'akov I have loved, but Esav I hated." Romans 9:13 (also Mal'akhi 1:2-3). Do you think that YHVH hated Esav in the same way that I hate celery or horseradish? I think not. This word means to 'distance oneself' or to 'not prefer'. The context of its scriptural meaning becomes more obvious when seen from its Hebrew meaning. When Yahshua says that a true disciple is one who 'hates' his father and mother (Luke 14:26), he simply means one who prefers the Messiah over his parents. YHVH preferred Ya'akov over Esav because Esav despised his birthright. In Mizmor 81:15, we read of 'haters of YHVH'. It is simply those who do not prefer YHVH to the rest of what life has to offer and they distance themselves from Him. There are many other Hebrew words that would correspond better to our modern understanding of hate: bazah (despise), ma'as (to loathe), to'evah (abominable). So ask yourself, "Do I really hate my little brother?"
Shalom Alecheim!
http://www.wildbranch.org/teachings/word-studies/10sane.html

Does this capture the meaning of Sane'?

Mike Burke



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