[b-hebrew] Psalm 23.4 --- The Biblical expression _Shadow ofDeath_

Ishnian ishinan at comcast.net
Mon Feb 18 23:02:16 EST 2013


BARRY wrote:   You seem to be switching categories here. Is it a faulty etymology, or is it something to do with the rules of grammar? To me it appears to be a pretty transparent form, but I'll be the first admit that my Hebrew is not as strong as it should be. But let's say, despite your somewhat confusing argumentation, you are absolutely right, and we translate it "valley of darkness." What difference does it make? How should we interpret the Psalm differently?

ISHINAN: It is definitely a faulty etymology, explained as a linguistic blend of two words "Shadow" Z.ll and "death" Mwt. While in reality it means darkness Z.ulumat (the plural of Z.almah; a simple rule of Semitic grammar). In any case, the verse has nothing to do with 'death' nor 'shadow'.  So, why is this citation used during burial rituals?  The only answer I can come up with is that the word has been grossly misinterpreted. 

Ishinan Ishibashi
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