לֹא תִרְצָח Ex. 20:12(13)

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Isaac Fried
Posts: 1773
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

לֹא תִרְצָח Ex. 20:12(13)

Post by Isaac Fried »

We read there
לֹא תִרְצָח לֹא תִנְאָף לֹא תִגְנֹב
NIV: "You shall not murder"
KJV: "Thou shalt not kill"
תִרְצָח = אתי-רצח is from the root רצח, a member of the Hebrew root family
רזח, רסק, רצח, רתח, רתך, רתק
of the basic sense of 'break up, shutter'.
It seems to me possible that the relative root רזח of which the מַרְזֵחַ - מה-רזח of Jer. 16:5 refers to mushed or cooked food
אַל תָּבוֹא בֵּית מַרְזֵחַ וְאַל תֵּלֵךְ לִסְפּוֹד וְאַל תָּנֹד לָהֶם
NIV: "Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy"
The other relative root רתח refers more clearly to some sort of tumult, fury, agitation, excitement, as in Ezekiel 24:3-5 where if refers to well cooked food
שְׁפֹת הַסִּיר שְׁפֹת וְגַם יְצֹק בּוֹ מָיִם אֱסֹף נְתָחֶיהָ אֵלֶיהָ כָּל נֵתַח טוֹב יָרֵךְ וְכָתֵף מִבְחַר עֲצָמִים מַלֵּא מִבְחַר הַצֹּאן לָקוֹחַ וְגַם דּוּר הָעֲצָמִים תַּחְתֶּיהָ רַתַּח רְתָחֶיהָ גַּם בָּשְׁלוּ עֲצָמֶיהָ בְּתוֹכָהּ
NIV: "bring it to a boil and cook the bones in it"
Also in Job 41:23(31)
יַרְתִּיחַ כַּסִּיר מְצוּלָה יָם יָשִׂים כַּמֶּרְקָחָה
NIV: "It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron"
In spoken Hebrew מים רתוּחים = רת-הוּא-ח-הם is 'boiled water', while רתיחה = רת-היא-ח-היא is 'boiling'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
Isaac Fried
Posts: 1773
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: לֹא תִרְצָח Ex. 20:12(13)

Post by Isaac Fried »

The root רמח of which the רוֹמַח, 'sword, lance, spear, javelin', of 1kings 18:28
וַיִּתְגֹּדְדוּ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָם בַּחֲרָבוֹת וּבָרְמָחִים עַד שְׁפָךְ דָּם עֲלֵיהֶם
KJV: "and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them"
NIV: "and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed"
is possibly also standing for some sort of hacking or mangling.
The root רמח calls to mind the root מרח, 'squash, smear, squeeze', as in Lev. 21:20
אוֹ גִבֵּן אוֹ-דַק אוֹ תְּבַלֻּל בְּעֵינוֹ אוֹ גָרָב אוֹ יַלֶּפֶת אוֹ מְרוֹחַ אָשֶׁךְ
NIV: "or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles"
KJV: "Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken"

Isaac Fried, Boston University
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