Jump to content


Photo

Richard Wurmbrand


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Al Dobko

Al Dobko

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Accordance Version:9.x

Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:26 PM

Voice of The Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand said in one of his messages that the Hebrew word for word, dabar, means 'a real thing' or 'jewel' as if a word is a tangible thing you can give to someone; does anyone know of a Hebrew resource that reflects this metaphor? Thanks!

#2 Helen Brown

Helen Brown

    Mithril

  • Admin
  • 8,499 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:heart in Israel
  • Accordance Version:11.x

Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:56 PM

Dabar does mean a thing as well as a word or a saying, but one should be careful about deriving theological conclusions from facts such as this. If you don't know Hebrew, try looking up the relevant Key words in one or more of the tagged English Bibles to get an idea of the range of meanings.


  • Dan Francis, PhilT, Al Dobko and 2 others like this
Helen Brown
OakTree Software

#3 Pchris

Pchris

    Silver

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark
  • Interests:Old Testament Exegesis, The Ancient Near East, the Hamito-Semitic languages, Ancient Greek, Mythology
  • Accordance Version:11.x
  • Platforms:Mac OS X

Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:07 PM

Out of curiosity, I decided to search all my Hebrew dictionaries/lexica, the entire Old Testament, Midrashim, Targumim, Mishnah, Talmud and Tosefta for this particular usage of דָּבָר, but I found nothing. As Dr. Brown said, it usually means "word", "saying", "matter/thing" and so on. But there isn't, it seems, any link to the word "jewel". Not on a linguistic level, at least. The closest I got was a "link" in the Akkadian language between the word for lip and jewel - in the [A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian. (2nd corrected printing. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000) by  Jeremy Black, Andrew George, and Nicholas Postgate], it says on page 358 under šaptu(m) that it means "lip" of people or animals (same root as the hebrew noun שָׂפָּה), but it can also mean "word/speech" or "rim of jewel". The Hebrew שָׂפָּה does not have such connotations, though. But the biggest issue with this link I found is that šaptu(m) cannot be translated as "matter" or "thing", meaning it isn't really comparable to the Hebrew דָּבָר in this regard. The proper Akkadian equivalent for דָּבָר is awatu(m) - which also lacks the meaning of "jewel". 


Accordance Version: 11.0.3 

Hardware: MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 (medio 2012)
Operating System: OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks.


#4 Al Dobko

Al Dobko

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Accordance Version:9.x

Posted 26 August 2014 - 05:50 PM

I think with the jewel metaphor he meant it in the sense that words seem to have weight to them; in 1 Kings 14:18 and Nehemiah 9:30 it says God spoke/arranged 'in hand' of the prophet, and in Hosea 2:16 (BHS) it says he will 'speak upon her heart'; it's as if the prophets are holding a word in their hand and laying it on someone's heart. I was just wondering if there is an academic reference that might reflect that idea.
  • Pchris likes this

#5 Pchris

Pchris

    Silver

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark
  • Interests:Old Testament Exegesis, The Ancient Near East, the Hamito-Semitic languages, Ancient Greek, Mythology
  • Accordance Version:11.x
  • Platforms:Mac OS X

Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:51 PM

"Hand" (יד) has a wide range of meanings in Hebrew - "in the hand of x"(ביד) is a fixed expression which means "through/by means of" in a purely instrumental manner no matter what verb is used. All the dictionaries seem to agree on this. HALOT (Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament) even specifically calls it an intensifying expression on page 388. In Akkadian there is an identical construction "ina qat x" - in the hand of x", which has the same connotations even though different roots are used. The instrumental meaning of "hand" is also known from the Ugaritic language, an extremely close cognate to Hebrew, where it simply means "with". The main difference from the Hebrew and Akkadian constructions, however, is that the preposition "with" (ב in hebrew) isn't even used together with "hand", (yd) in Ugaritic - it is already implied within the noun itself. 

 

"Speaking to the (her) heart" (דבר על לב) is also a fixed expression, which generally means to "speak gently/to comfort" according to all the dictionaries. In this particular case, the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon even suggests that she might be speaking to herself. While it is within the scope of the expression partially due to the fact that there is an identical Akkadian expression "itti libbišu" (with one's own heart) when used with the verb dababu(m) I am personally not very keen on this interpretation, though. But that is beside the matter.

 

Seeing that both "in the hand of x" and "speaking to the heart" are to be understood as abstract, fixed expressions (and that none of the dictionaries state that "דִּבֶּר“ can be translated as "to lay" - another verb שׂים is used for this purpose) it is unlikely that it could mean that a word is literally being held and subsequently placed in the heart, at least from a linguistic point of view. From a dogmatic-theological perspective it's a different story.

 

Hope it helps!


Accordance Version: 11.0.3 

Hardware: MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 (medio 2012)
Operating System: OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users