Ps 139:3

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Expand view Topic review: Ps 139:3

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:24 am

About Num. 22:30 and the relation סכן - שכן we recall that it is similarly in English: "habit" is 'settled behavior', while "habitat" is from the Latin habitare 'to live, to dwell, to settle'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by SteveMiller » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:42 pm

Isaac,
That is a good question. I think moving stones refers to moving a landmark, that is trying to steal some of your neighbor's property.
Cleaving wood is honest work to get wood for building or fuel.

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:59 pm

Steve,

Here is, again, Ecclesiastes 10:9
מַסִּיעַ אֲבָנִים יֵעָצֵב בָּהֶם בּוֹקֵעַ עֵצִים יִסָּכֶן בָּם
Your translation: "He that is removing stones is hurt by them. He that is cleaving trees is profited by them"
Do you have an explanation as to why moving stones is hurting, but cleaving wood is profitable?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by SteveMiller » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:35 pm

Isaac,
The common meaning of ‫סכן‬ throughout Scripture seems to be to make a profit, as Karl said.
I would translate Eccl 10:9 as:
He that is removing stones is hurt by them. He that is cleaving trees is profited by them.

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:17 pm

To 'asset, possession', I would add 'gain, profit'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:49 pm

Job 35:3
כִּי תֹאמַר מַה יִּסְכָּן לָךְ מָה אֹעִיל מֵחַטָּאתִי
NIV: Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?’
KJV: For thou saidst, What advantage will it be unto thee? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

I would translate this סכן as 'asset, possession'. Namely, יִּשְׁכָּן = יִּסְכָּן.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:20 pm

The act סכן is kin to צחן שחן שכן with the fraction סך being kin to שח, 'be down, be smeared', and hence also שכן, 'settle, dwell'. Hence further the מי-סכן = מִסְכֵּן, 'lowly, abject, weak, wretched, depressed', of Ecclesiastes 4:13 (see also Ec. 9:15-16)
טוֹב יֶלֶד מִסְכֵּן וְחָכָם מִמֶּלֶךְ זָקֵן וּכְסִיל אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע לְהִזָּהֵר עוֹד
NIV: "Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning."
Also the מִסְכֵּנֻת = מסכן-הוּא-את of Deut. 8:9
אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא בְמִסְכֵּנֻת תֹּאכַל בָּהּ לֶחֶם לֹא תֶחְסַר כֹּל בָּהּ
KJV: "A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it"
See also Ecclesiastes 10:9
מַסִּיעַ אֲבָנִים יֵעָצֵב בָּהֶם בּוֹקֵעַ עֵצִים יִסָּכֶן בָּם
KJV: "Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby."

In post-biblical Hebrew סַכָּנָה SAKANAH, is 'danger, weakness, low-point'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by Isaac Fried » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:25 pm

Steve,

Indeed, what is the (common) meaning of ‫סכן‬ throughout Scripture?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by SteveMiller » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:39 pm

Thanks Isaac and Karl.

Isaac,
Based on the meaning of סכן throughout Scripture, I think that Num 22:30 is also a bad translation of סכן.
I would translate the last phrase: ... Have I been useful to do like that to you?

Re: Ps 139:3

Post by kwrandolph » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:46 pm

SteveMiller wrote:Psalm 139:3 אָרְחִ֣י וְרִבְעִ֣י זֵרִ֑יתָ וְֽכָל־דְּרָכַ֥י הִסְכַּֽנְתָּה׃

…The verbs ‎ זרה, translated "search out", and ‎ סכן, translated "are acquainted with", never seem to have those meanings.

How would you translate the above 2 verbs in this verse?

thanks.


The verb זרה has the meaning of “to spread out” or “to stretch out” as can be seen in Proverbs 1:17 used for the spreading out of a net. Therefore, in Psalm 139:3 we have the idea that God is spreading out the traveling that we can continue down it, and spreading out a bed to make it more comfortable for sleeping.

The verb סכן has the basic idea of being productive, producing.

So the verse gives the idea of God giving success. But we need to keep in mind that success in God’s eyes may look like failure to the world.

Karl W. Randolph.

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