[b-hebrew] "keleb" in Deut.23:18

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Mar 25 05:27:44 EDT 2013


Dear Lascelles:

My first reaction was that the work KLB doesn’t appear in Deuteronomy
23:18, but then I found a version that shows that the numbers in English
lag the Hebrew listing by a verse. It’s in verse 19.

But the word MXYR doesn’t mean “price”, rather it means a payment for goods
or services. It’s used, for example, for the payment that David gave to
purchase the site of the future temple.

As for its meaning, context gives us a clue: the preceding refers to temple
prostitution, both male and female. The syntactical structure indicates
that this is the use of a dog as payment to the temple.

Why would God have enjoined that practice? Is it a reference to a specific
pagan practice that has since been forgotten, just as not boiling a kid in
its mother’s milk was revealed by Ugaratic texts as a way to petition the
gods for rain and not as a basis for the *milchig und fleischig* teachings?
Does anyone know of any historical reference to such a practice being used
among pagans in ancient times?

Watch out for “most agree” as that can be a sign that they’re wrong. What
you need is a historical and/or linguistic reference, and, as far as I
know, they have none.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM, lascelles James <lasgbjames at gmail.com>wrote:

> Thanks for helping me towards a better approach to understanding the word
> "Abraham"
>
> Is the "price of a dog" to be taken literally in Deut 23:18?
>
> Most agree that the word *keleb *may signify a promiscuous person and
> that the expression the "price of a dog" means "the wages of male
> prostitution" (TWOT Lexicon).
>
> However, is there an etymon that can help support this interpretation?
>
> Lascelles James
>
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