[b-hebrew] Ezra 1:9, MXLP

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 21:35:11 EST 2013

Dear Pere:

On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:00 PM, Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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:

Actually, from form, it is Piel, Pual or hophal participle. Those are the
masculine participles that start with a Mem and lack the interior Yod.

> 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.

What is the meaning of XLP? Is there any place where it necessarily means
“to pass through”? Or is the meaning more along the line of exchanging
position where it refers to location?

The other uses seem to refer to change and exchange, not passing through.

> 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)

The more I read, the more I question the correctness of the Masoretic

No, I never have claimed that they invented the tradition preserved in the
points, but rather that the tradition became corrupted over centuries of
Aramaic native speaking and even a complete changing the understanding of
Hebrew grammar centuries before the Masoretes. This would not have been a
deliberate changing of the tradition, rather as generations of rabbis read
the text, there would be a little bit here and a tad there that were
adjusted to fit both the Aramaic milieu and the changed understanding of
Hebrew grammar, until many points no longer reflected Biblical
pronunciation nor understanding. So by the time the Masoretes invented
their points to preserve the tradition, unfortunately that tradition was

Fortunately, for our understanding, vocabulary is over 90% of
understanding, grammar can be large wrong, but we’ll be forced to a correct
understanding in spite of that incorrect grammar because of vocabulary and

So back to the word in question, in that I see no example that is has a
meaning of passing through, but all the examples I see indicate that it
refers to changing or exchanging. That’s why I suspect that the word would
be more accurately translated referring to priestly robes than slaughtering

But I could be overlooking something, so is there any example where passing
through is a necessary understanding of the word?

> Is this enough for you?
> Hearty greetings from Barcelona.
> Pere Porta

Karl W. Randolph.
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