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סְגֻלָּה SGULAH Ex. 19:5

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:02 pm
by Isaac Fried
We read there
וְעַתָּה אִם שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת בְּרִיתִי וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל הָעַמִּים כִּי לִי כָּל הָאָרֶץ
NIV: "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine"
סְגֻלָּה = סג-הוּא-ל-היא is from the root סגל SGL, which is a bona fide member of the root family
דגל, דחל, דקל
יחל, יכל
סגל, סכל, סקל
שגל, שחל, שכל, שקל

implying that סְגֻלָּה is דְּגֻלָּה, סְקֻלָּה, שְקֻלָּה, namely, 'weighty, hefty, lofty, important, significant, imbued with special and valuable qualities'.

In today's spoken Hebrew סֶגֶל SEGEL is 'personnel, staff', related to אֶשְכּוֹל E$KOL, 'bunch', related in turn to אֶשְקוֹל, 'heavy'. סִגָּל SIGAL is the flowering plant 'violet', and סָגֹל SAGOL is the color purple, possibly after some such colored berries. סְגַלְגַּל SGALGAL is 'oval', as in 'the oval office'.

Similarly, מסוּגל = מ-ס-הוּא-גל MSUGAL is 'capable', namely, possessing the called for resources. In this sense מסוּגל is equivalent of the מסוּבל MSUBAL of Ps. 144:13-14
מְזָוֵינוּ מְלֵאִים מְפִיקִים מִזַּן אֶל זַן צֹאונֵנוּ מַאֲלִיפוֹת מְרֻבָּבוֹת בְּחוּצוֹתֵינוּ אַלּוּפֵינוּ מְסֻבָּלִים אֵין פֶּרֶץ וְאֵין יוֹצֵאת וְאֵין צְוָחָה בִּרְחֹבֹתֵינוּ
KJV: "That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets."

Isaac Fried, Boston University