virgin

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Michael W Abernathy
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:38 pm

virgin

Postby Michael W Abernathy » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:39 pm

I know בְתוּלָה is normally translated “virgin” but I wanted to look at how one would understand it just by looking at the context.
Some passages seem to be emphasizing the youth of the בְתוּלָה.
For example:
Deut 32:25
מִחוּץ֙ תְּשַׁכֶּל־חֶ֔רֶב וּמֵחֲדָרִ֖ים אֵימָ֑ה גַּם־בָּחוּר֙ גַּם־בְּתוּלָ֔ה יוֹנֵ֖ק עִם־אִ֥ישׁ שֵׂיבָֽה׃
Outside the sword will bereave,
And inside terror—
Both young man and virgin,
The nursling with the man of gray hair.


Jeremiah 51:22
וְנִפַּצְתִּ֤י בְךָ֙ אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנִפַּצְתִּ֥י בְךָ֖ זָקֵ֣ן וָנָ֑עַר וְנִפַּצְתִּ֣י בְךָ֔ בָּח֖וּר וּבְתוּלָֽה׃

And with you I shatter man and woman,
And with you I shatter old man and youth,
And with you I shatter young man and virgin,

Ezekial 9:6
זָקֵ֡ן בָּח֣וּר וּבְתוּלָה֩ וְטַ֨ף וְנָשִׁ֜ים תַּהַרְג֣וּ לְמַשְׁחִ֗ית וְעַל־כָּל־אִ֨ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָלָ֤יו הַתָּו֙ אַל־תִּגַּ֔שׁוּ וּמִמִּקְדָּשִׁ֖י תָּחֵ֑לּוּ וַיָּחֵ֙לּוּ֙ בָּאֲנָשִׁ֣ים הַזְּקֵנִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר לִפְנֵ֥י הַבָּֽיִת׃

“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

Then I found a reference in the Talmud Yevamot 61b which states that a priest had to marry a girl before she grew to adulthood or she was not בְתוּלָה.
Joel 1:8 could suggest that בְתוּלָה was used for a newlywed woman or an engaged girl.
אֱלִ֕י כִּבְתוּלָ֥ה חֲגֻֽרַת־שַׂ֖ק עַל־בַּ֥עַל נְעוּרֶֽיהָ׃
Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth
For the bridegroom of her youth.

So, here’s my question: when Genesis 24:16 says Rebekah was a virgin and continues to say she had never had sex was that an unnecessary clarification or did בְתוּלָה only mean virgin in context?
Genesis 24:16
וְהַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ טֹבַ֤ת מַרְאֶה֙ מְאֹ֔ד בְּתוּלָ֕ה וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֑הּ וַתֵּ֣רֶד הָעַ֔יְנָה וַתְּמַלֵּ֥א כַדָּ֖הּ וַתָּֽעַל׃

Saboi
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:06 pm

Re: virgin

Postby Saboi » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:08 pm

בְתוּלָה from πῶλος (πτῶλος) in poetry is a young girl, maiden

-cognates-
אויל "Foolish"
אולת "Folly"
עול' Folly, Badness
עול' Baby, suckling, toddler '
עויל 'little children
תפלה 'Folly'
נבל' Fool
נבלתה 'Lewdness
תהלה' Folly '
עלומיו' Youth
עלמה' Young woman
עלם' Young man
עולל' Children, young grapes, act like a child, folly
עלה' young leaf

φύλλον' Young Leaf
ἑλλός'Young Deer, Fawn
κἄλλῳ ' Young fawn
καλάμη'Young stalk
Clan ' Son ( Etruscan)
ἐπιφυλλίς'Small grapes left for gleaners
πῶλος' Young Maiden , Foal , Colt, Filly
Filivs ' Young man, son
Filia ' young girl, daughter
pava ' young boy
βλαστός ' Young-shoot
Papals ' Grandson ( Etruscan)

אֵב' Young, fruit, greening
אביב' Tender, young, first-crops the 'first' month of the ecclesiastical year
Ἥβη' Youthful prime, goddess of young men
Paulus - Young, Small
Lee Mcgee

S_Walch
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:41 pm

Re: virgin

Postby S_Walch » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:48 pm

Michael W Abernathy wrote:So, here’s my question: when Genesis 24:16 says Rebekah was a virgin and continues to say she had never had sex was that an unnecessary clarification or did בְתוּלָה only mean virgin in context?
Genesis 24:16
וְהַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ טֹבַ֤ת מַרְאֶה֙ מְאֹ֔ד בְּתוּלָ֕ה וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֑הּ וַתֵּ֣רֶד הָעַ֔יְנָה וַתְּמַלֵּ֥א כַדָּ֖הּ וַתָּֽעַל׃

No, I wouldn't say it was an unnecessary clarification.

Contra to popular (theological) opinion, and as you yourself have shown by your examples, בתולה didn't just mean "virgin", but could also just be used to refer to a "young woman of marriageable age" or "young damsel".

So the Genesis account of Rebekah and her virginity is spot on, and highly necessary to clarify that by בתולה, she was a girl who had never had intercourse with anyone else.

בתולה and עלמה are synonyms, likely I would say coming into Hebrew from interaction with other languages.
Ste Walch

Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: virgin

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:01 pm

I tend to see בתוּלה as בת-עוּלה.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1073
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: virgin

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:21 pm

Lee,
I am not sure as to what you mean by "cognates", but I notice that the letter ל L, Lamed, appears in every Hebrew word on your list, as well as in every Greek word on the foreign list.
According to my understanding of the elemental makeup of the Hebrew language the letter L is a primary indicator of lifting or elevation, say your עָלֶה ALEH, 'leaf', which is על העץ up on the tree.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Saboi
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:06 pm

Re: virgin

Postby Saboi » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:47 am

עללה, עלה 'Leaf'
- φύλλον (Gk)
- Folia (Lt)
- Feuille (Fr)

צאלים 'Tree' (Shadow cast by a large tree)
- ξύλον, ξυλόω, ξύλου
- ἰσόξυλος , עץ צל

ξυλόω > ξλό > צלע "turn into wood"
ξύλου > ξλυ > ξλβ > צלמ < צלב "Image"

מלכקרת צאלים > Ἡράκλειαι στῆλαι > Pillars of Herakles
Lee Mcgee

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SteveMiller
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Re: virgin

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:36 pm

Michael W Abernathy wrote:I know בְתוּלָה is normally translated “virgin” but I wanted to look at how one would understand it just by looking at the context.
Some passages seem to be emphasizing the youth of the בְתוּלָה.
For example:
Deut 32:25
מִחוּץ֙ תְּשַׁכֶּל־חֶ֔רֶב וּמֵחֲדָרִ֖ים אֵימָ֑ה גַּם־בָּחוּר֙ גַּם־בְּתוּלָ֔ה יוֹנֵ֖ק עִם־אִ֥ישׁ שֵׂיבָֽה׃
Outside the sword will bereave,
And inside terror—
Both young man and virgin,
The nursling with the man of gray hair.

betulah and bachur go together as pairs.
I don't think bachur necessarily means a young man, but a choice man.
I think the emphasis here is on virtue.
In the persecutions that would come on Israel, the innocent and virtuous would not be spared.

Michael W Abernathy wrote:Jeremiah 51:22
וְנִפַּצְתִּ֤י בְךָ֙ אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנִפַּצְתִּ֥י בְךָ֖ זָקֵ֣ן וָנָ֑עַר וְנִפַּצְתִּ֣י בְךָ֔ בָּח֖וּר וּבְתוּלָֽה׃

And with you I shatter man and woman,
And with you I shatter old man and youth,
And with you I shatter young man and virgin,

similar to Deu 32:25, but here Jacob is to do the shattering on the nations.
Virtuous ones of the nations will not be exempt from the shattering.
Here you see that naar is used for youth in contrast to old man, and bachur again goes with betulah, but not in contrast with old man.
Old women and young women are included in the old man and youth phrase.

Michael W Abernathy wrote:Then I found a reference in the Talmud Yevamot 61b which states that a priest had to marry a girl before she grew to adulthood or she was not בְתוּלָה.
Joel 1:8 could suggest that בְתוּלָה was used for a newlywed woman or an engaged girl.
אֱלִ֕י כִּבְתוּלָ֥ה חֲגֻֽרַת־שַׂ֖ק עַל־בַּ֥עַל נְעוּרֶֽיהָ׃
Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth
For the bridegroom of her youth.

baal means husband, not bridegroom or betrothed.
It is used of the husband specifically after he has had relations with his wife (Deu 21:13).
the phrase "husband of her youth" means they have been married a long time, and are now no longer young (Prov 5:18; Isa 54:6; Mal 2:14-15).
Betulah does not mean virgin like our English word. A betulah is a woman who either is a virgin, or was a virgin before marriage and remained faithful to her husband after marriage. It is a term of virtue and admiration.
Another example of married betulahs is Esther 2:17,19.

Michael W Abernathy wrote:So, here’s my question: when Genesis 24:16 says Rebekah was a virgin and continues to say she had never had sex was that an unnecessary clarification or did בְתוּלָה only mean virgin in context?
Genesis 24:16
וְהַֽנַּעֲרָ֗ טֹבַ֤ת מַרְאֶה֙ מְאֹ֔ד בְּתוּלָ֕ה וְאִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֑הּ וַתֵּ֣רֶד הָעַ֔יְנָה וַתְּמַלֵּ֥א כַדָּ֖הּ וַתָּֽעַל׃

If betulah meant unambiguously "virgin", why add "and no man had known her".
Any time that betulah is to mean unambiguously "virgin" extra words are added: Lev 21:3; Jdg 21:12; etc.
The common phrase naarah betulah (Deu 22:23,28; 1Ki 1:2; etc) means a young unmarried betulah, hence a young virgin.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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SteveMiller
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Re: virgin

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:59 pm

S_Walch wrote:
Contra to popular (theological) opinion, and as you yourself have shown by your examples, בתולה didn't just mean "virgin", but could also just be used to refer to a "young woman of marriageable age" or "young damsel".

So the Genesis account of Rebekah and her virginity is spot on, and highly necessary to clarify that by בתולה, she was a girl who had never had intercourse with anyone else.

בתולה and עלמה are synonyms, likely I would say coming into Hebrew from interaction with other languages.

Ste, Deu 22:13-21 requires that a betulah was a virgin before marriage. v19 uses betulah as an admirable term.

The root of almah means unknown. This is unambiguous that no man has known her and vice-versa. It means an innocent young woman.
The root of betulah means separate. This is not as strong as almah's root meaning of unknown. Separate can mean separated from men or separated to one husband.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: virgin

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm

עלמה has nothing to conceal להעלים, and בתולה is not separated בדוּלה from no nothing.
The root עלם consists of the union of the uniliteral root ל L of elevation and the uniliteral root מ M of massiveness; an almah is tall (L) and full of body (M). In what chronological age range a girl is considered to be a proper almah is not exactly revealed to us, so we tentatively say between the ages of 3 and 29.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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SteveMiller
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Re: virgin

Postby SteveMiller » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:44 pm

Isaac,
עלם is used 30 times in Tanach meaning hidden. i.e. Lev 5:2-4; 20:4
In the 2 uses of the male noun form:
1Sam 17:55-56,58 the emphasis is that no one knows who this guy is who is going to fight Goliath. He is unknown.
1Sam 20:20-22 the emphasis is that the young man does not know what is going on.

For Betulah, you may be right. Klein says the root of Betulah is בתל , meaning to separate, but I can't find any uses of that in Tanach.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)


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