chavoux at gmail.com
Sat Nov 10 15:09:18 EST 2012
I think that we have established fairly well that BAZAH basically means
"despise" (with whatever semantic range and origin) and SANA basically
means "hate" (with whatever semantic range that entails).
What has not been mentioned, and might be more important IMHO, is the role
of culture. In most mid-eastern languages (even in modern times), hyperbole
is part of everyday language and perfectly understood by the hearers not to
be literally meant. The basic differences in cultures are very well
explained in the little book "Foreign to familiar" by Sarah A. Lanier. If
the Bible (and other biblical Hebrew writings) was written in a basically
"hot-climate" culture (as I believe) and we read it with "cold-climate"
lenses, we are bound to misunderstand its meaning, even if we get the
precise meaning of the words correct.
I think that both the "perfect" hate of evil doers (by David and not by
God, by the way) and Jesus' word to "hate" those who are closest to you
before being able to follow Him, or God loving Jacob, but hating Esau, are
typical examples of how hyperbole is used in "hot-climate" cultures (and
were perfectly understood by the hearers as not contradicting what is
Just a thought.
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