Re: Single word antonyms?

From: Jim West (
Date: Tue Oct 14 1997 - 11:43:01 EDT

At 10:15 AM 10/14/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Another Biblical example would be the word barach in Hebrew, normally
>translated bless, but in Job 2:9, "curse". I believe Luther actually
>translated it "Bless God and die."
>David Haeuser

In fact, this is not an example of the issue under discussion. Instead, it
is an example of the "tiqqune sopherim"- the scribal alterations of the
Hebrew text for reasons of piety. See Ernst Wurthwein's intorduction to OT
textual criticism for a full discussion of the issue. In sum, the tiqqune
were alterations the scribes made, and marked as alterations, because their
piety would not allow them to say such a thing as "curse God". So instead,
they wrote bless God" and marked it as a change of text. There are around
18 tiqqune sopherim in the MT.


Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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