The quadriliteral roots כפתר and כרכב in Ex. 37-38

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Isaac Fried
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The quadriliteral roots כפתר and כרכב in Ex. 37-38

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:03 pm

In Ex. 37:19 we read
שְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בַּקָּנֶה הָאֶחָד כַּפְתֹּר וָפֶרַח וּשְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בְּקָנֶה אֶחָד כַּפְתֹּר וָפָרַח
NIV: "Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were on one branch"
It appears to me that the quadriliteral root כפתר is the union of of the two roots כפה and עתר, namely, several leaves held tightly together to form a bud.

In Ex. 38:4 we read
וַיַּעַשׂ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִכְבָּר מַעֲשֵׂה רֶשֶׁת נְחֹשֶׁת תַּחַת כַּרְכֻּבּוֹ מִלְּמַטָּה עַד חֶצְיוֹ
NIV: "They made a grating for the altar, a bronze network, to be under its ledge, halfway up the altar."
KJV: "And he made for the altar a brasen grate of network under the compass thereof beneath unto the midst of it."
It appears to me that כרכב = כר-כב which is חגר-הקיף or כרך-גבב.

A good number of quadriliteral roots, possibly a vestige of an earthy Hebrew dialect that fancied such constructions, contain the fraction חר כר קר of fracturing and aggregating, to-wit:
חרגל, חרמש, חרצב, כרבל, כרמל, כרכב, קרדם, קרסל

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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