[b-hebrew] Ezra 1:9, MXLP

Pere Porta pporta7 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 2 02:00:48 EST 2013

My dear friend,

Sure, the meaning "(slaughtering) knife" is not obvious from the context.
That is why we have to rely on the form.
This noun type that begins with M with vowel sound A, namely MA, has
several meanings.
Basically they have to be taken as Hiphil Participles so that the main
resulting meanings of this noun type are:
1. -result of the basic concept being happening...  --------> result
2. -place where the basic concept happens --------> place
3. -tool that is used to achieve the basic concept -------> tool or means

Some examples:

1. RESULT.  Look at the 6th word in Dn 10:8  -------- vision, sight; also
at M(RB, west, sunset (cf Dn 8:5); MXLH, sickness (2Ch 6:28)
2. PLACE: Look at Is 42:16, MX$K --------- dark `place; MXNH, encampment
(Dt 23:10) (where people encamp, cf 1Sm 26:5)
3. TOOL/MEANS: Look at Lv 19:23, M)KL, food

Some nouns share two of them. And so, MXNH can be considered as the place
but also as the result of encamping. That's why we cannot rely too much on
a strict and cutting line between the three.

What then about our noun?
In our case (Ez 1:9) we have a sample of the last: tool.
MXLP ------> The tool that makes to PASS through something and by this it
divides (something) in parts, cuts (something) in pieces... This is just
the main intended normal use of a knife.

But I say it again: the vowel of the initial M is A (and not E, shewa, or
others). (I stress this because you do not trust on masoretic points)
Is this enough for you?

Hearty greetings from Barcelona.

Pere Porta
2013/2/1 K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>

> To All:
> The normal dictionary meaning for this happax is “slaughtering knife”, but
> is it accurate? Where does that meaning come from? It’s not obvious from
> this context.
> It appears from the form that the word is from the root XLP which has a
> wide meaning of changing, when used of position the idea of passing
> through, by, on, when used of objects to change, exchange, once even used
> as a euphemism for death as in “passed away” Proverbs 31:8. Can you see any
> connection in meaning between this and “slaughtering knife”? Right now I
> fail to see a connection.
> One of the ideas discussed years ago was that on nouns that are both
> masculine and feminine, is that one of the uses of the difference is that
> the feminine indicates generality while the masculine specificity, so in
> this case the masculine refers to a specific set of clothing, namely the
> priestly robes?
> Any ideas?
> Karl W. Randolph.
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Pere Porta
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