Opinions needed on this exegesis

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
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Chris Watts
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu May 13, 2021 8:00 am

Opinions needed on this exegesis

Post by Chris Watts »

Keil and Delitzsch's comments regarding this verse with regard to the words : בְחַגְוֵי־סֶלַע with the emphasis on the disputed meaning of חַגְוֵי - Your comments will be helpful.

זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי־סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ Obadiah 1:3

<<< הגוי סלע are rocky towers, though the primary meaning of חגוי is open to dispute. The word is derived from the root חגה, which is not used in Hebrew (like קצוי from קצה), and is found not only here and in the parallel passage of Jeremiah, but also in the Sol 2:14, where it occurs in parallelism with סתר, which points to the meaning refugium, i.e., asylum. This meaning has also been confirmed by A. Schultens (Anim-adv. ad Jes. xix. 17) and by Michaelis (Thes. s.v. Jes.), from the Arabic ḥj'a, confugit, and maḥjâ'u, refugium.
(Note: The renderings adopted on the authority of the ancient versions, such as clefts of the rock, scissurae, jagged rocks, fissures (ὀπαί, lxx), caves, which are derived either from the supposed connection between חגה and חקה, and the Arabic chjj, fidit, laceravit, or from the Arabic wajaḥ, antrum (with the letters transposed), have far less to sustain them. For the meanings assigned to these Arabic words are not the primary meanings, but derivative ones. The former signifies literally propulit, the latter confugit, iv. effecit ut ad rem confugeret; and Arabic mawjaḥun means refugium, asylum.)>>>

On a side note I notice that Jeremiah 49:16 writes the construct state - the absolute noun as definite but Obadiah in his construct writes it as Indefinite. Surely this changes the meaning slightly from Jeremiah's "The crevice/clefts of the Rock" to Obadiah's "a Rocky crevices/clefts". Am I Nit-picking?

Chris watts
ducky
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Opinions needed on this exegesis

Post by ducky »

Hi,

It starts with the sentence that says that חגוי סלע are rocky towers and only that the primary meaning is in dispute.
But I don't know about that.
I read it as "crevice, cranny" (I mean the crack in the rocks).

As for primary meanings, my mind really goes to the meaning of "break"
since the חגה really reminds the חקה/חקק
And for example, when I read Isa. 22:16
חֹצְבִי מָרוֹם קִבְרוֹ חֹקְקִי בַסֶּלַע מִשְׁכָּן לוֹ
it reminds me of Jer. 49:16 and Ob. 1:3
שֹׁכְנִי בְּחַגְוֵי הַסֶּלַע תֹּפְשִׂי מְרוֹם גִּבְעָה
שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי סֶלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ

And it is like the חגוי סלע is the result of the one who חקקי בסלע
(By the way, I hope you noticed the two cases of suffix Y in Isa. 22:16 - related to your other post from yesterday)

**
Anyway, it is just my quick thought. Never really thought about it deeply.
So I'm not sure of anything - just a thought.
David Hunter
Chris Watts
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu May 13, 2021 8:00 am

Re: Opinions needed on this exegesis

Post by Chris Watts »

Hallo Ducky, interesting you mention חגה, this is an unused root according to Tragelles "To take refuge in something or with someone". (Thanks for pointing out Isa 22:16 and the participle noun by the way). I am more inclined to go for the allusion of a 'refuge' rather than a rocky tower or a cleft in the rock. No doubt a cleft is an obvious choice for translation, but considering that scripture uses two other more accurate representations for the cleft of a rock:

לָבוֹא בְּנִקְרוֹת הַצֻּרִים וּבִסְעִפֵי הַסְּלָעִים Isa 2:21 and again

כִּי־הִנֵּה יְהוָה מְצַוֶּה וְהִכָּה הַבַּיִת הַגָּדוֹל רְסִיסִים וְהַבַּיִת הַקָּטֹן בְּקִעִים Amos 6:11.

I go with the emphasis on a people taking refuge rather than the emphasis being on the noun itself, of physical geography. Indeed some Edomites lived in caves, but the majority lived on the plains and built successful trading towns. What is more, the hebrew word for cave
as used for example in Gen 19:30וַיֵּשֶׁב בַּמְּעָרָה הוּא וּשְׁתֵּי בְנֹתָיו negates any idea that these crevices are caves.

Chris watts
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