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

David Kolinsky hadeesh at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jul 17 21:19:48 EDT 2013


Isaac and I agree - except the evolution is RWX to RWK.

David Kolinsky
Monterey CA

 From: Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu>
To: Stewart Felker <stewart.felker at gmail.com> 
Cc: "b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] What exactly is the semantic overlap between רוח as (1) 'breathe, blow' and (2) 'to be wide, spacious'?

RAX is a variant of RAK רך 'soft, pliable, yielding, tender, spreadable', 
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 pressure'.

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
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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