[b-hebrew] What exactly is the semantic overlap between רוח as (1) 'breathe, blow' and (2) 'to be wide, spacious'?

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Jul 17 21:00:55 EDT 2013

RAX is a variant of RAK רך 'soft, pliable, yielding, tender,  
as in Prov. 25:15. It is related to ערך ARAK, 'array, arrange',  
ארוך AROK,
'long', ארוכה ARUKAH, 'relief' (as in Is. 58:8), and ארוחה  
ARUXAH, 'meal'.

 From RX we have רוח RUAX, 'wind', ריח REYAX, 'smell', and  
רחים REXAYIM, 'millstones'.

Language is capable of expressing the negative only via the positive:
nothing = no-thing. Thus, RAWAX is, 'relax, loosen, be free of  

Related to this are:

RAXAB רחב 'wide'.
RARAQ רחק 'spread out'
RAXA$ רחש 'seethe, swarm'
RAXAC רחץ 'wash'
RAXAM רחם 'mercy, compassion'
RAXAP רחף 'hover', as in Gen. 1:2.


RAKAB רכב 'mount, ride, combine'
RAKAS רכס 'assemble'
RAKA$ רכש 'acquired'


RAQAB רקב 'rotted'
RAQAD רקד 'danced'
RAQAM רקם 'stitched'

and many more of the form #RX, #RK and #RQ.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 17, 2013, at 7:42 PM, Stewart Felker wrote:

> There's also רֶוַח, as 'relief' - I'm assuming the overlap here  
> would be in the same sense that we say 'having space' (or  
> 'breathing easy'). But what exactly is the connection between  
> 'wind, breath', etc. and being 'wide, spacious'?
> Stewart Felker
> University of Memphis
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> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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