מסמר MA-SMER Isaiah 41:7

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Isaac Fried
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מסמר MA-SMER Isaiah 41:7

Postby Isaac Fried » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:01 pm

We read there
וַיְחַזֵּק חָרָשׁ אֶת צֹרֵף מַחֲלִיק פַּטִּישׁ אֶת הוֹלֶם פָּעַם אֹמֵר לַדֶּבֶק טוֹב הוּא וַיְחַזְּקֵהוּ בְמַסְמְרִים לֹא יִמּוֹט
KJV: "So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved."

מסמר = מה-סמר, 'nail', is from the root סמר, with the "prefixed" מה MAH, 'that which is', added to turn the root into a noun. The root SMR is a bone fide member of the Hebrew root family:
זמר, טמר, ימר, סמר, צמר, שמר, תמר
and hence MASMER is a little metal peg or clip, a זמוֹרה ZMORAH, 'a twig', or a thin strand as of צֶמֶר CEMER, 'wool'.

In Job 4:15 SAMAR is an act
וְרוּחַ עַל פָּנַי יַחֲלֹף תְּסַמֵּר שַׂעֲרַת בְּשָׂרִי
KJV: "Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up"
with תְּסַמֵּר being a poetic shift on תְּצַמֵּר, 'frizzed into a woolly coat', like a צַמֶּרֶת CAMERET, 'a treetop'. See Ezekiel 17:3.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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