off topic Luke 12:20

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Michael W Abernathy
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off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Michael W Abernathy »

I know this is somewhat off topic but I was reading along in the Delitzsch translation of Luke during church and I’m having a little problem with verse 20. I am supplying the entire parable for context Most of this is straightforward but when I get to verse 20 I can’t quite figure out what to do with בְּעֶצֶם. I’d appreciate it if you could explain how it is used here.
Luke 12:16 - וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר שְׂדֵה אִישׁ עָשִׁיר אֶחָד עָשָׂה תְּבוּאָה הַרְבֵּה׃

Luke 12:17 - וַיַּחְשֹׁב בְּלִבּוֹ לֵאמֹר מָה־אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי אֵין־לִי מָקוֹם לֶאֱסוֹף אֶת־תְּבוּאָתִי׃

Luke 12:18 - וַיֹּאמֶר אֶת־זֹאת אֶעֱשֶׂה הָרֹס אֲסָמַי וּבָנֹה גְּדוֹלִים מֵהֶם וְאֶכְנְסָה שָׁמָּה אֶת־כָּל־יְבוּלִי וְטוּבִי׃

Luke 12:19 - וְאֹמַר לְנַפְשִׁי נַפְשִׁי יֶשׁ־לָךְ טוֹבָה הַרְבֵּה לְשָׁנִים רַבּוֹת הִנָּפְשִׁי אִכְלִי שְׁתִי וְשִׂישִׂי׃

Luke 12:20 - וְהָאֱלֹהִים אָמַר לוֹ אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל בְּעֶצֶם הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה יִדְרְשׁוּ מִמְּךָ אֶת־נַפְשֶׁךָ וַאֲשֶׁר הֲכִינוֹתָ לְּךָ לְמִי יִהְיֶה׃
Thanks in advance,
Michael Abernathy
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Galena
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Galena »

הַכְּסִיל בְּעֶצֶם
Hiphil from סכל meaning "to be ignorant" and עֶצֶם a noun meaning "essence, bones, or self" in other words, have become ignorant in your self. Though I hasten to add that I am not sure if modern hebrew is allowed on this forum unless it specifically relates to the Torah and prophets and writings in scripture. And questions concerning the NT are ill-advised also. I say this gently.

Kindest regards
chris
Chris Watts
Michael W Abernathy
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Michael W Abernathy »

Thank you for your help Chris. I thought it might be something like that. As I understand it Delitzsch thought Biblical Hebrew was spoken in the first century and was attempting to reconstruct a Hebrew original. I had no intention of starting a conversation on the text, I just wanted some help with that phrase and I believed the participants in this forum were qualified to help.
Sincerely,
Michael Abernathy
Isaac Fried
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Isaac Fried »

Here it is

וְהָאֱלֹהִים אָמַר לוֹ: אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל, בְּעֶצֶם הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה יִדְרְשׁוּ מִמְּךָ אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ וַאֲשֶׁר הֲכִינוֹתָ לְּךָ לְמִי יִהְיֶה

Translation by IF: and God said to him: you fool, at this very (בעצם) night your soul will be demanded of you, and what you gathered will be to whom?

Isaac Fried, Boston University
Isaac Fried
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Isaac Fried »

Chris,

You said: "Though I hasten to add that I am not sure if modern hebrew is allowed on this forum".
Would you explain to us what makes
וְהָאֱלֹהִים אָמַר לוֹ: אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל, בְּעֶצֶם הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה יִדְרְשׁוּ מִמְּךָ אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ וַאֲשֶׁר הֲכִינוֹתָ לְּךָ לְמִי יִהְיֶה
"modern" Hebrew rather than "biblical" Hebrew.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
kwrandolph
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by kwrandolph »

Michael W Abernathy wrote:I know this is somewhat off topic … but when I get to verse 20 I can’t quite figure out what to do with בְּעֶצֶם. …
Thanks in advance,
Michael Abernathy
Yes, it’s off topic, but I’ll answer it because there’s a very similar phrase, except with “this day”, used over 10 times in Tanakh. Literally, the translation comes out as “in the might of this day” בעצם היום הזה which means nothing in English, but in Hebrew has the meaning of “in this very day”. When Delitzsch translated into Hebrew, he translated “in this very night” as בעצם הלילה הזאת to adjust for “night” instead of “day”.

Editing before posting, it looks as if I may have corrected Delitzsch.

As Chris wrote, normally we don’t deal with non-Biblical Hebrew.

Karl W. Randolph.
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by kwrandolph »

Isaac Fried wrote:Would you explain to us what makes
וְהָאֱלֹהִים אָמַר לוֹ: אַתָּה הַכְּסִיל, בְּעֶצֶם הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה יִדְרְשׁוּ מִמְּךָ אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ וַאֲשֶׁר הֲכִינוֹתָ לְּךָ לְמִי יִהְיֶה
"modern" Hebrew rather than "biblical" Hebrew.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
A perfect example why those who are native speakers of modern Israeli, or one who knows and uses modern Israeli daily, has a harder time learning Biblical Hebrew than someone who has studied only Biblical Hebrew and doesn’t know modern Israeli. The reason is that modern Israeli imparts certain expectations that need to be unlearned in order properly to understand Biblical Hebrew.

ויאמר אליו אלהים הכסלת כי בעצם הלילה הזאת תלקח נפשך מאתך ואת אשר הכינת לך למי הם

An acceptable variant is to replace the hophal verb הכסלת כי with the noun כסיל without a prefixed heh. The reason for not having the prefixed heh is because the fool is being addressed in the second person singular.

Looking at the Greek, are these the best words to use?

The Greek word αφρων has the idea of thoughtlessness, not crooked or twisted thinking indicated by כסיל. Would סכל be a better word? Or possibly the phrase חסר לב (lacking heart = thoughtless) or בער as in ignorant?

As for απαιτεω, there’s no extent Biblical Hebrew word that has a similar meaning. It could be that one of the uses of פקד was what was used in the Aramaic?

So on second thought, the correct translation may have been:

ויאמר אליו אלהים בער בעצם הלילה הזאת תפקד נפשך מאתך ואת אשר הכינת לך למי הם

Karl W. Randolph.
Jemoh66
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Jemoh66 »

So the next three verses are interesting. For one, verses 22 and 23 make up a reverse parallelism. I am particularly interested in what everyone thinks of the language of verse 21.
In English: "so is he who is treasuring up to himself, and is not rich toward God." (YLT)
In Greek: "οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν." (Neslte)

I looked at the English translation of the Peshitta:
"So is he who layeth up to himself treasures, and towards Aloha is not rich." (http://qbible.com/aramaic-new-testament/luke/12.html)

Now here is how Delitzsch translated it back into Hebrew:
זֶה חֵלֶק הָאֹצֵר לוֹ אֹצָרוֹת וְלֹא יַעְשִׁיר בֵּאלֹהִים

1. I think if Jesus said this in Hebrew, the first phrase could have been just two words כן for "so" and a hithpael participle of אצר, used nominally, to express the entire relative clause "he who is treasuring up to himself." I might entertain the pronoun הוא between the two. If so, would I have to add a definite ha onto the nominal participle. Compare Amos 3:10, האוצרים (Aleppo). This is a Qal participle. Karl, I don't know that there is Hithpael in the Tanach, but I am wanting to say it was a hithpael because even the Peshitta has the reflexive "himself." That is the reflexivity seems persistent.

2. In the second part of the verse, the Peshitta has the preposition translated "towards." The Peshitta may be preserving the original Hebrew preposition. What do you guys think? What Hebrew preposition is this "towards" possibly representing.

3. Would there have been a difference between a mishnaic phrasing and a BH phrasing. Do we have Mishnaic Hebraists on the forum?

Anyway I thought we could improve on Delitzsch's rendering ;)
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary
S_Walch
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by S_Walch »

kwrandolph wrote:The Greek word αφρων has the idea of thoughtlessness, not crooked or twisted thinking indicated by כסיל. Would סכל be a better word? Or possibly the phrase חסר לב (lacking heart = thoughtless) or בער as in ignorant?
Delitzsch was probably taking his cue from the LXX, which uses αφρων to translate כסיל nearly 60 times, more than any other Hebrew word. Though it must be said Karl, your translational ideas above are all found in the LXX as translated by αφρων: סכל four times; חסר לב once (Prov. 17:18); and בער three times (Ps. 91:7; Prov. 12:1; 24:25).

Other options to consider: אויל ; נבל.

(FYI: LXX prefers to use ενδεης φρενος (5x) to translate חסר לב.
As for απαιτεω, there’s no extent Biblical Hebrew word that has a similar meaning. It could be that one of the uses of פקד was what was used in the Aramaic?
LXX uses απαιτεω to translate נגַשׂ the most (4x), but as you say, definitely doesn't have a BH equivalent.
Ste Walch
Isaac Fried
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Re: off topic Luke 12:20

Post by Isaac Fried »

I would translate
זֶה חֵלֶק הָאֹצֵר לוֹ אֹצָרוֹת וְלֹא יַעְשִׁיר בֵּאלֹהִים
as
"This is the lot of he who amasses riches, but will not enrich himself in godliness."

I think that Delitzsch, or actually בעצם the Hebrew speaking people he hired to help him in the translation, would have liked my rendering.

אצר is but a variant of
אדר, אזר, אטר, אסר, אצר אשר, אתר
עדר, עזר, עטר, עצר, עשר

so that עֹשָׁרוֹת = אֹצָרוֹת.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
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