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This is where we come to delve into the biblical text. Theology is not our foremost thought, but we realize it is something that will be dealt with in nearly every conversation. Feel free to use the original languages to make your point (meaning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). This is an exegetical discussion area, so please limit topics to purely biblical ones.

This is not the section for debates between theists and atheists. While a theistic viewpoint is not required for discussion in this area, discussion does presuppose a respect for the integrity of the Biblical text (or the willingness to accept such a presupposition for discussion purposes) and a respect for the integrity of the faith of others and a lack of an agenda to undermine the faith of others.

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Exegeting Sarah . . .

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  • Exegeting Sarah . . .

    In Hebrew "Sarah" is spelled שרה (shin–ש reish–ר heh–ה). ----- The appropriate response to this brilliant piece of exhausting exegesis would seem to be a long sleepy yawn. . . But it's not the case. . . Not even close.

    From time immemorial to this very day it's been read, and said, and heard read, and then said, that God added a heh ה to the name "Sarai" שרי (shinreishyod-י) to transform "Sarai" שרי to "Sarah" שרה. -----That's what it says in Christian commentary, Jewish commentary, and Islamic commentary. But it's false through and through.

    To transform "Abram" אברם to "Abraham" we merely insert the heh after the reish: אבר–ה–ם. No letter is removed. . . So to transform "Sarai" שרי to "Sarah" we merely insert the dalet ד over the existing yod י to get שרה (the heh is constructed of a dalet over a yod . . . as is taught to Jewish soferim). If "Sarai" was transformed by the addition of the Hebrew letter heh ה, then the yod ' already in the name "Sarai" would have to be removed. But no letter is removed from "Abram" in the transformation to "Abraham," so we're clued in to the fact that no letter is removed from "Sarai" in order to transform the name to "Sarah."
    Last edited by Xtian Rabinovich; 04-15-2014, 06:52 PM.

  • #2
    That's Greek to me!
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      That's Greek to me!
      . . . Then I suppose it would be useless to explain the meaning of the heh in Abraham and the dalet in Sarah. . . Which is sad since the Holy Spirit has waited quite some time to bring these things out into the light of day. . . I'll guess I could ask Him to come back in another thousand years.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
        . . . Then I suppose it would be useless to explain the meaning of the heh in Abraham and the dalet in Sarah. . . Which is sad since the Holy Spirit has waited quite some time to bring these things out into the light of day. . . I'll guess I could ask Him to come back in another thousand years.
        It has been SO LONG ago that I took Hebrew, and I don't use it on a regular basis, so my smart-alek () comment was just my way of subscribing, hoping somebody comes along who actually knows what he's talking about.

        Dirty Harry: "A man has got to know his limitations"

        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          It has been SO LONG ago that I took Hebrew, and I don't use it on a regular basis, so my smart-alek () comment was just my way of subscribing, hoping somebody comes along who actually knows what he's talking about.
          . . . It's not as complicated as you might think. You should take a stab at it. . . Most Hebrew letters are ligatures made up of other Hebrew letters. Take the letter tav ת. If you look closely at the tav you'll see that it's actually two letters squished into one. The two letters that make up the tav ת are the nun נ and the dalet ד. If you take a nun and a dalet דנ and squeeze them together ת you have the tav. A "ligature" is when two letters are accidentally, or in this case purposely, so close that they become one letter.

          The heh ה is a ligature formed when a yod י and a dalet ד come together to form one letter ה. (The yod י is a tiny jot or tittle --so to say-- which can slide under a dalet ד to become a heh ה.) When scribes, or soferim, get to writing into the wee hours of the night they sometimes accidentally cause a ligature by placing a yod so close to a dalet that they form a heh--- or a nun so close to a dalet that they create a tav. . . . . But ironically, many letters are ligatures by design. Incredible secrets are hidden in the text for those who know that the Hebrew letters are ligatures. In some sense a ligature is God's most natural signature.
          Last edited by Xtian Rabinovich; 04-16-2014, 12:31 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Xtian Rabinovich View Post
            . . . It's not as complicated as you might think.
            I didn't say it was complicated -- I said it's been a long time -- 40 years ago. And I got A's and B's in all my Hebrew and Greek classes.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              Dear Mr. Rabinovich, please try not to take offense by what I'm about to say, but this is just plain nonsense. I don't even know where to begin. Study other semiitic languages, if only the alphbets of Ugaritic, Aramaic, Moabitic. What you keep describing as a Daleth is really a Resh, but even worse, a Tau is really a Tau, and a He is really a He. It is sometimes fun to listen to the imaginative musings of alphabetic mysticism or gematria, but do not lose touch with the reality of a text.
              βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
              ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

              אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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              • #8
                Originally posted by John Reece
                Thank you!

                My response was simply to add the thread starter to my ignore list; your response is rather edifying for normal readers.
                NORMAL readers? What about guys like ME?
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  NORMAL readers? What about guys like ME?
                  Just before seeing this/your response, I edited out/deleted "normal" because it struck me as a red flag when I came back to proof read my post.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    NORMAL readers? What about guys like ME?
                    You're never been normal.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                      Just before seeing this/your response, I edited our "normal" because it struck me as a red flag when I came back to proof read my post.


                      I OFTEN wish I hadn't taken my Hebrew and Greek when I was young -- I was way more concerned about getting a good grade than getting a good education. Same with history. I took some college classes later in life (the sociology and psychology stuff) for certifications, and did MUCH better because I was actually interested in the topics, and saw the relevance to my work.

                      I'm actually thinking about retaking Hebrew and/or Greek because I'm INTERESTED, rather than because they were required for the degree plan.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        You're never been normal.
                        EggZACKly!
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                        • #13
                          Hi Robrecht,

                          Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                          Dear Mr. Rabinovich, please try not to take offense by what I'm about to say, but this is just plain nonsense. I don't even know where to begin. Study other semiitic languages, if only the alphbets of Ugaritic, Aramaic, Moabitic. What you keep describing as a Daleth is really a Resh, but even worse, a Tau is really a Tau, and a He is really a He. It is sometimes fun to listen to the imaginative musings of alphabetic mysticism or gematria, but do not lose touch with the reality of a text.
                          What you're calling a reish is actually a dalet as it appears in typed text when being used to construct a heh ה or a tav ת. I'm not sure why the dalet looks like that in type, but there's no Torah scroll, no mezuzah, no sacred Hebrew text that uses the typed text (where the dalet looks like a reish). Every heh ה or tav ת ever written by the hand of a Jewish scribe is constructed of a dalet and a yod (the heh), or a dalet and a nun (the tav). The rules (STA'M) for writing Hebrew letters states that a heh is constructed of a dalet and a yod (never a reish), while a tav is constructed of a dalet and a nun "(never a reish). Although it admittedly looks like a reish in the typed text, there's no reish in the letter tav, or the letter heh. The shape of the tav ת and the heh ה when typed is a convention of the system used for typewriters or type set text.

                          And yes, a tav is really a tav. -----I never suggested otherwise. ----- But in the ancient Hebrew text (Ktav Ivri) the tav was shaped like a "cross." -----And since it's the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it represents "finality" or the "final judgment." The cross is the symbol of the final and complete judgment on this creation. All sin and failure was judged on the cross. You must know this and believe this in order that when the wrath of God calls you to account for your sins you know who your defense attorney is, and where he gained the authority to speak on your behalf. The very word "tav" means "sign" or "mark" such that the "cross" is the sign of God's judgment on sin, the mark of the final judgment of sin.

                          The modern Hebrew script (Ktav Ashuri) is an uncircumcised script. Therefore the "cross" in the ancient script is made to look like the un-circumcision that it represents. Furthermore, the tav is indeed a ligature formed from the nun and the dalet. Study the rules of STAM, or consult with an expert in Hebrew letter symbolism (someone like Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh) and you'll see that indeed the tav is constructed of a nun נ and a dalet ד. . . . And it makes perfect sense that the tav --- which represents "judgment" --- should be a ligature of a dalet and a nun, since the letters dalet and nun דנ spell "din" which means "judgment," "or "to judge."

                          . . . Should someone familiar with Hebrew letters doubt that a heh and a tav are always constructed with a dalet, and not a reish, they could Google-image "Torah scroll" and look at the tav and the heh on the scroll. There will never be a reish as is the case in typed script.
                          Last edited by Xtian Rabinovich; 04-16-2014, 09:40 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Hi Robrecht,

                            Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                            It is sometimes fun to listen to the imaginative musings of alphabetic mysticism or gematria, but do not lose touch with the reality of a text.
                            The Hebrew letter is not the lowest common denominator of God's revelation. Far from it. In the sacred text, the letter is a pictogram constructed of more than one element (except--perhaps-- for the yod). The pictogram (and its meaning) is at least one iteration deeper into the secret of God's revelation than anything gotten from the letter as a dead letter.

                            Ancient scripts began as hieroglyphs or a hieratic (priestly) letters based on pictograms and symbols. Later, the hieratic text devolves into a demotic or profane text used for profane purposes: conversation, business transactions, archiving various forms of information. ---- Once the demotic form of the text becomes widely used, the priestly text is phased out except for priestly functions. But by this time the priesthood has often become more interested in personal gain and profane things such that they forget the pictographic or hieratic meaning of the letters, and start using even the hieratic text as a demotic text.

                            Ktav Ivri is the hieratic text. Ktav Ashuri is the demotic text. . . Which is not to deny that the demotic text retains some of the blood of the hieratic. It's just that now that the blood is dried it looks like ink such that even well meaning exegetes can't distinguish between the demotic elements of the text, and the elements that are dried blood and not ink (which kind-of segues into the thread I started on the malfeasance found in Ezekiel chapter 9).
                            Last edited by Xtian Rabinovich; 04-16-2014, 04:46 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Hi Cow Poke,

                              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                              I didn't say it was complicated -- I said it's been a long time -- 40 years ago. And I got A's and B's in all my Hebrew and Greek classes.
                              . . . Did you ever use the original languages in bible study?

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