שְׁאוֹל Gen. 37:35

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Isaac Fried
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

שְׁאוֹל Gen. 37:35

Postby Isaac Fried » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:48 pm

We read there:
וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי אֵרֵד אֶל בְּנִי אָבֵל שְׁאֹלָה
KJV: "and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning"
The noun שְׁאוֹל = שא-הוּא-ל, 'grave, underworld, netherworld', a place one goes down to, is of the root שאל, which I consider as consisting of שאה-עלה; a root which is furthermore a member of the Hebrew root family:
שאל, שעל, שלל, שול, שלה
יעל, תעל

From the root שאל we have also the common act ,שאל 'ask, request, demand, seek, borrow, extract, take away, lift', and hence the על, 'up', for the answer elicited.
The word שְׁאוֹל and its root שאל are good examples to the fact that the positive and the negative are but a mere reflection of each other. שלל is 'loot', what is taken away (in spoken Hebrew "מספר שלילי" is "negative number", as opposed to "מספר חיובי", not "מספר תלילי"), but תלל is 'pile up' -- what is taken away from one side is being piled up on the other side. Hence the עלה of שְׁאוֹל, to be deep, to be high down, the same way it is in the תְּעָלָה, 'trench, ditch, channel', of 1Kings 18:35
וְגַם אֶת הַתְּעָלָה מִלֵּא מָיִם
KJV: "and he filled the trench also with water"
Being down at the bottom of the תְּעָלָה and looking up makes the sides of the תְּעָלָה appear tall.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: שְׁאוֹל Gen. 37:35

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:41 pm

From the kindred root שעל, also composed in my opinion of, שעה-עלה or שאה-עלה, we have the derived word מִשְׁעוֹל = מי-שע-הוּא-ל, 'path, footpath, pathway, footway', of Nu. 22:24
וַיַּעֲמֹד מַלְאַךְ יהוה בְּמִשְׁעוֹל הַכְּרָמִים גָּדֵר מִזֶּה וְגָדֵר מִזֶּה
KJV: "But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side"
It is so named, I think, either because it is elevated (as is a דֶרֶךְ סְלוּלָה see Jer. 18:15, which is either תְּלוּלָה or שְלוּלָה), or because one steps on it, or because it is extended.
Also the שוֹעַל = ש-הוּא-על, 'hand, arm' of Isaiah 40:12
מִי מָדַד בְּשָׁעֳלוֹ מַיִם וְשָׁמַיִם בַּזֶּרֶת תִּכֵּן
NIV: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens"
Also the, lanky, long-legged, שוּעַל = ש-הוּא-על, 'fox', of Song 2:15
שֻׁעָלִים קְטַנִּים מְחַבְּלִים כְּרָמִים
NIV: "little foxes that ruin the vineyards"

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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