[b-hebrew] skies in plural? (Rolf's response 1)

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 00:32:27 EDT 2012


On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM, Jerry Shepherd <jshepherd53 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi Karl,
> Several problems with this post, which I can only see as a heaping up of
> desperation moves.
> I see your insistence of hammering or beating as being desperate and
contradicting the contexts. And I mean in this message.

> (1)  With regards to Exod 39:3 you say “this can be done by hammering, or
> other methods.”  Could you elaborate?  Perhaps other methods were utilized
> in addition, but some kind of beating or hammering was always involved.
> If you want gold leaf, the thinest of the thin, to cover something, you
then have to hammer it after the rolling mill has made it quite thin. But
because gold is so soft and malleable, even ancient rolling mills were
enough to make gold thin enough for thread to sew into clothing. In this
verse, we are talking about thread for sewing.

> (2)  With regard to Isa 40:19, you say, “This is covering with gold leaf.
> Gold leaf is spread out, ot hammered, but softly rubbed into place. This
> example is enough to call your whole argument into question.”  First, of
> all, even if you were right, this would by no means call my whole argument
> into question.  But, second, you are wrong.  In ancient times gold plating
> was done, by rubbing, pressing, AND hammering.

Not hammering. Hammered gilding on wood would dimple the wood, ruining its
finish. Hammering stone images risks chipping the stone. Even hammered
gilding on medal will dimple the metal. Since gold leaf with the same
properties as what we have today was known even in ancient Egypt, there was
no need for hammering.

>  This may not be so much the
> case today.  But it was then.  The hammering was needed to make sure that
> the gold plating filled all the pits and fissures.

Gold leaf is so fine that it fills all the pits and fissures without
hammering. The most that is needed is gentle rubbing.

>  I don’t think your
> modern blacksmithing and coppersmithing experience is a reliable guide to
> ancient goldplating methods.
> The history sources I checked say that making gold leaf as fine as we know
today, with the same properties, has been known in ancient Egypt, from well
before the Exodus.

> (3)  With regard to Jer 10:9, you say, “Again the spreading of silver and
> gold leaf onto a statue.”  No, you are wrong here as well.  Indeed, no
> plating is talked about in this verse.  RQ( here is used to refer to beaten
> out silver plates brought from Tarshish, and possibly, by ellipsis, the
> verb might apply to the gold as well.  RQ( is not used here to refer to the
> plating process, but to the process of making the silver and gold plating.
>  And
> this was done by beating and hammering out.
> This verse is talking about the making of idols, contrasted with the
living God in verse 10.

> (4)  With regard to 2 Sam 22:43, you try to extend the first verb $XQ onto
> the occurrence of RQ( in the verse.  But RQ( only has to do with mud in the
> streets.  That this mud can be dried out, turned into dust, and float in
> the air is completely extraneous to the use of RQ( in this verse.  It is
> not mentioned at all.
> Sorry, wet mud cannot be ground, but once it is dried it can. The verse
mentions grinding, then spreading out, in parallel and in the context of
clouds of dust.

> (5)  With regard to Job 37:18, when you say, incredibly, that the verse can
> be translated “as firm as a vision in a mirror,” are you really being
> serious?

No. Where do you get the idea that a mirror is meant? The words here refer
to the act of looking and pouring out.

>  As “firm as a vision”?  Really?  I’ll have to remember that the
> next time I play similes, and if someone asks, “As firm as” I’ll know the
> answer is “a vision”!  Karl, come on!   Is there a translation in the
> entire world that does this?
> I checked with both the Hebrew and the LXX, both indicate “as firm as
watching pouring out (of liquid)” (that in parentheses implied). So where’s
the mirror?

> (6)  For Ps 136:6; Isa 42:5; 44:24; Ezek 6:11; 25:6 – all of these
> plausibly refer to actions that can be characterized as beating, hammering,
> stamping, etc.
> I think you’re being delusional here. “spreading out of the earth and the
plants and animals from it” is done by hammering, pounding? Isaiah 42:5.
This has stretched my credibility to the breaking point.

> (7)  For Ezek 1:22-26, it doesn’t always have to be metal plates, just
> something that can be beaten out.  The passage does not say that it was
> made of glass, only that it sparkled like “ice” or “crystal.”  Nor, in this
> case, is there any hint that the RQY( is dome-shaped.  But it is solid; the
> living creatures support it, and it in turn supports the throne.
> What besides crystal, glass or ice looks like that? None of those can be
beaten out. But glass can be expanded into shape and ice and crystal carved
to shape. But since this is a vision, it can be something that has never
been seen on earth.

> (8)  Finally, no Karl, there are no occurrences in the Hebrew Bible of
> either RQ( or RQY( referring to the existence of something non-solid.  Not
> a single occurrence.  None.

At least two.

רקע refers to spreading out. That can be by hammering when dealing with
metal plates. But often other than metal plates is meant, and for those
other means are used for spreading them out.

You’re grasping at straws, and losing credibility. Big time.

> Blessings,
> Jerry Shepherd
> Taylor Seminary
> Edmonton, Alberta
> jshepherd53 at gmail.com
> Karl W. Randolph.

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