Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

Rising From the Dust

Recommended Posts

Hello Volgadon,

It isn't min haafar that is important, it is HARIMOTICHA- I HAVE RAISED THEE UP. That is what is used when the context is one of kingship.

Iâ??m sorry, but that is not correct. References to the dust as an allusion to humility are indeed important throughout the Bible. A textâ??s meaning is not merely derived from its verbs.

It is also a mistake to equate min haafar with kingship every time.

Of course. I never claimed that we should. Are you claiming that every time min haafar appears that we should equate the prepositional phrase with mourning?

BTW in Isaiah 29 it is me'afar tisach. In Isaiah 52 it is shake OFF the dust.

True, both passages do not use the same verb. The point, however, is entirely irrelevant.

The fact that Isaiah 52 uses the verb â??to shake offâ? does not negate the point that the prepositional phrase min plus â??afar only appears nine times in the Bible, two of which occur in Isaiah 29. Hence, the reattestation of the rare expression twenty-three chapters later in the book provides an important literary connection between chapters 29 and 52, irregardless of the verb.

David, you need to look at Isaiah 52 in context with the preceding chapters, where Israel (or Jerusalem) is mourning
.

I actually believe that this is a nice observation on your part. Your view corresponds with the ideas expressed by Xuan Huong Thi Pham in the book Mourning in the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible.

I guess you aren't very familiar with mourning in the Middle East and the Bible.

Youâ??re correct. Iâ??ve never personally participated in biblical and/or Near Eastern mourning rites. I do, however, have a bit of an academic familiarity with such rituals. I have studied for ten years with David P. Rite. :P

As a student of such rituals, Iâ??m especially impressed by Gary Andersonâ??s book A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance: The Expression of Grief and Joy in Israelite Religion (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1991).

Anderson illustrates that in the Bible, the feeling of joy correlates with eating and drinking, sexual relations, ritual praise of God, anointing with oil, and festal clothing. In contrast, the state of mourning corresponds with fasting, sexual abstinence, ritual lamentation, ashes or dust on one's head, and sackcloth or torn clothes.

It's a helpful analysis.

Hence, Iâ??m willing to accept that you may be correct that â??shaking offâ? the dust in Isaiah 52 draws upon this ritual performance of placing dust on oneâ??s head as a literary allusion. I certainly believe that the passage reflects the actions of a community lament.

This acknowledgement, however, does not change the fact that Isaiah 52:1-2 fundamentally denotes a rise from humility to a position of kingship.

In addition to the evidence Iâ??ve cited, note the commentary offered by Benjamin D. Sommer in the Jewish Publication Society Study Bible:

â??Shake off the dust [means that] as a captive, the city sat in dirt, humiliated (pg 889)â?

Also, note the Jewish Publication Translation of the passage:

â??Awake, awake, O Zion!

Clothe yourself in splendor;

Put on your robes of majesty,

Jerusalem, holy city!...

Arise, shake off the dust,

Sit [on your throne], Jerusalemâ? (Isaiah 52:1-2).

I especially like the translators' insertion [on your throne] as it captures in my mind the actual meaning of the passage.

best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post

The verb in this case is important. Very much so. In the case of a king being made, it is always the Lord which does the raising. The whole point is that a man can't do that himself, but is dependant on the Lord's favour.

In Isaiah 52 we read Hitnaari me'afar kumi shvi yerushalaim. Shake off the dust, not rise from the dust. Shake off the dust, arise captive Jerusalem. Contrast that with the end of the verse shvia bat-tzion. Captive Daughter of Zion. It is part of the poetry found in Isaiah, that use of synonyms.

Without a verb, as in king Mosiah's statement that he is of the dust, it implies being part of, that is Mosiah is stressing that he is a regular guy like anyone else. He isn't stressing his kingship.

The difference between the usage of me'afar in Isaiah 29 and 52 is very significant. I don't In 29 because of the verb used it is from out of something whilst in 52 it is to remove from off of something.

Share this post


Link to post
I would think that was obvious. If you were trying to con someone youd be certain to make sure tehre are obvious connections. It would be in the details that lies would be exposed.

The fact that there are subtle connections is very important because the more subtle ones Joseph made, the clearer it becomes that he didnt just make it all up.

Yes, its so obvious! Maybe Joseph only put in subtle connections because he knew the obvious ones would give away his fakery. He just has to be one step cleverer than the people who believe in him.

This reminds me of a scene from The Princess Bride, where Dread Pirate Roberts puts poison in one of the wine glasses, and leaves the Sicilian to guess which one it is. The Sicilian say's it's so simple; the poison could be in the Sicilian's goblet, or the clever pirate could have put it into his own goblet trying to outsmart the Sicilian because only a great fool would reach for what he is given. However, the poison comes from Australia, where people are used to not being trusted, so it must be in the other glass. On the other hand, the pirate must know that the Sicilian knows about the poison's origin, so it must not be in that goblet, but in the other. On and on the self-serving "reasoning" goes until the Sicilian tries a trick of his own, but dies because both goblets were poisoned. Roberts was one step ahead of the clever Sicilian.

Share this post


Link to post
You're correct. I've never personally participated in biblical and/or Near Eastern mourning rites. I do, however, have a bit of an academic familiarity with such rituals. I have studied for ten years with David P. Rite. :P

As a student of such rituals, I'm especially impressed by Gary Anderson's book A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance: The Expression of Grief and Joy in Israelite Religion (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1991).

Anderson illustrates that in the Bible, the feeling of joy correlates with eating and drinking, sexual relations, ritual praise of God, anointing with oil, and festal clothing. In contrast, the state of mourning corresponds with fasting, sexual abstinence, ritual lamentation, ashes or dust on one's head, and sackcloth or torn clothes.

The Irish and the Italian make it so much easier....you eat, you drink (alot), you dance, and then you cry only to start all over again.

Good discussion, guys.

One note, however, and I am a very small voice in this, but my reading of it seems to indicate that it implies "taking the throne". (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:361) which would imply some kind of royal sanctioning. There is also a connection with Isaiah 47:1 which reads..."Fall down! Sit in the dirt, O virgin daughter Babylon! Sit on the ground, not on a throne, O daughter of the Babylonians! Indeed, you will no longer be called delicate and pampered."

Share this post


Link to post

Like Ron, I enjoy the discussion. Just a few thoughts from the cheap seats:

Like David, I think this refers to enthronement. But the mourning plays a part. Both 51 and 52 are part of an extended Day of Atonement exposition. Central to the D. of A. is mourning, affliction, and fasting.

A paraphrase from Barker's commentary (Eerdmans) on Isaiah from this section:

51:6 (part of Servant song) Is the servant speaking, the original royal High Priest, whom the earthly HP symbolizes.

51:9-11 Is the victory over the monsters of Chaos at the time of creation, part of the renewal of the covenant on the D of A.

51:12-16 Victory over the monster death through the God of creation is assured.

52:1-2 Zion is to shake off the dust, and arise and sit on the throne. (parallel actions, the arising is the same as shaking the dust).

52:7 Messenger bringing the news of salvation. This was understood to be the Messiah coming at the end of the 10th Jubilee to bring the final D of A.

the wider background for the D of A is (like the Akitu festival) the enthronement of the King, where YHWH is once again anointed and crowned and placed on the throne.

Notice that this whole extended section (Isa 51-52:2) is quoted by Jacob (2 Ne Ch. eight) right before starting his D. of A. speech about victory over the monster death and hell, and salvation in Christ's blood, ending with his shaking the blood of the people off his garments (2 Ne 9:44) before the people. The BOM really helps us understand what is going on here. The imagery Jacob uses is that of the HP going into the H of H with the blood and sprinkling it (nazah) on the mercy seat (atonement covering) in the dark, after which he would change his blood-stained garments. In Zech 3:4, Joshua the HP is taken into the H of H and given a new garment to get rid of the filthiness (tsow) on his garments. In Neh 5:13, Nehemiah calls the priests and shakes (na'ar) his garments in front of them. The sprinkling, scattering, and shaking are all important, but here in Isa 52 it becomes part of the D. of A. enthronement ritual, which starts with fasting and mourning.

Regards,

(Note: I wrote this in a hurry before taking my son to a basketball game. Made some edits after I got back.)

Share this post


Link to post

Greetings Volgadon,

The verb in this case is important. Very much so.

Of course, dear friend, understanding the verb is important for a correct interpretation of the passage. Please do not assume that when establishing the textâ??s meaning, I would ever deny the significance of interpreting the verb correctly.

I maintain that all of the grammatical imagery is of value in an exegetical analysis including allusions pertaining to coming â??from/out of the dust.â? You are the one attempting to deny the value of specific constructs via your statement, â??it isn't min haafar that is important.â? I'm simply suggesting that it is very important.

In the case of a king being made, it is always the Lord which does the raising. The whole point is that a man can't do that himself, but is dependant on the Lord's favour.

Of course, and Jerusalem is dependent upon the help of her redeemer to lift herself up from the dust in Isaiah 52.

In Isaiah 52 we read Hitnaari me'afar kumi shvi yerushalaim. Shake off the dust, not rise from the dust. Shake off the dust, arise captive Jerusalem. Contrast that with the end of the verse shvia bat-tzion. Captive Daughter of Zion.

And were do you imagine that Jerusalem was arising from?

It is part of the poetry found in Isaiah, that use of synonyms.

I believe that you have misinterpreted the poetic structure of the line. The opening phrase consists of two plural imperatives associated with the preposition min plus â??afar â??dust.â? Hence, the Jewish Publication Society translation: "Arise, shake off the dust."

As illustrated via Job 19:25, biblical poetic structure can present a preposition, followed by â??afar â??dust,â? followed by the Hebrew verb qwm â??arise,â? in a manner which specifically parallels Isaiah 52:2 by directly linking the imagery of rising up from the dust via the same precise grammatical structure: preposition, followed by :P;)â??afar â??dust,â? followed by the Hebrew verb qwm, â??arise.â?

Without a verb, as in king Mosiah's statement that he is of the dust, it implies being part of, that is Mosiah is stressing that he is a regular guy like anyone else. He isn't stressing his kingship.

If we correct your statement to king "Benjamin" rather than king "Mosiah," then youâ??ve simply restated my exact point, except that youâ??ve failed to recognize the additional value of Benjamin doing so in the context of dust and biblical kingship imagery.

The difference between the usage of me'afar in Isaiah 29 and 52 is very significant. I don't In 29 because of the verb used it is from out of something whilst in 52 it is to remove from off of something.

I'm sorry, you are clearly failing to understand the issue. I can only provide so much background on a messageboard. May I suggest that you do a bit of research on the issue of inner biblical exegetical analysis? I would recommend Michael Fishbaneâ??s book Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel.

best,

--DB

Ron & JG,

Thanks so much for your contributions to this discussion. JG, very pleased to learn about your blog via the post. Loved the angel/priest analysis.

peace and joy

Edit: I don't know why those little faces appear in my post, knocking their heads in frustration. I did not insert them and have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of them.

Share this post


Link to post

What little I can add to this, is what I found in the BDB (emphasis in bold mine). In some contexts it can be associated withn mourning, no doubt. In other contexts I don't see that David is incorrect either. - 2. fig.: a. of abundance Gn 13:16(

Share this post


Link to post

Bokovoy:

The fact that Isaiah 52 uses the verb â??to shake offâ? does not negate the point that the prepositional phrase min plus â??afar only appears nine times in the Bible, two of which occur in Isaiah 29.

Heh, keeping up with you is like trying to run alongside a flippin Ferrari, but I finally found all your occurrences. VERY interesting! Hey, once I get the hang of my software, I'm going to rock and roll with you all.

I found this also, kinda interesting! I know it's not the verb וּמֵעָפָר we were discussing, but it ties in the chapter Isaiah 29, which is about being brought low into the dust as humiliation, depression, etc. Nothing lofty or proud. The reason I bring this up is because Jerusalem is low, yet she is to rise, i.e. become exalted, gain the kingship according to your interpretation, etc. שְׁחוֹחַ they shall come to thee bowing down. Job 9:13; Pro. 14:19.

Niphal, to be bowed down, Isa. 2:9; 5:15. Used of a depressed and attenuated voice, Ecc. 12:4. Pregn. Isa. 29:4, וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ â??and thy depressed (slender) voice shall be heard from the dust.

Hiphil, to bring down, to humble, Isaiah 25:12; 26:5.

Hithpoel, to be cast down (the soul), Psa. 42:7, 12; 43:5.

Derivative, שַׁח.

Gesenius, Wilhelm ; Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux: Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures. Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc, 2003, S. 814

Share this post


Link to post

I have some errands to run, but I'm surprised you haven't addressed my point that it is God which does the raising when dust is used in a context of kignship.

Share this post


Link to post

I have some errands to run, but I'm surprised you haven't addressed my point that it is God which does the raising when dust is used in a context of kignship.

Share this post


Link to post

I have some errands to run, but I'm surprised you haven't addressed my point that it is God which does the raising when dust is used in a context of kignship.

Share this post


Link to post
I have some errands to run, but I'm surprised you haven't addressed my point that it is God which does the raising when dust is used in a context of kignship.

I strongly suspect that is because we wouldn't argue that it is God who does the raising to Kingship. Perhaps I am mistaken.

Share this post


Link to post

But Lehi is calling his sons to raise themselves, that is why I disagree about the link, because afar does not connote kingship. Being raised from it, yes.

Share this post


Link to post
But Lehi is calling his sons to raise themselves, that is why I disagree about the link, because afar does not connote kingship. Being raised from it, yes.

Lehi wasn't about Kingship, but Benjamin and Mosiah were. They were already kings. I think that is the area of the BofM that Herr almost Dr Sir Master Bokovoy was discussing and using.

Share this post


Link to post

I think you'll find that David Bokovoy was also talking about Lehi. Dust isn't about kingship, but being raised from it by God is. My point is that both Lehi and Isaiah in the above-mentioned verses are not talking about the same thing that 1 Kings 16:2 is. I haven't read the German book, so I can't comment on how Bokovoy uses its conclusions.

I only have a high school diploma, what with being conscripted, serving a mission and now getting married soon, I haven't had the time or money yet.

Share this post


Link to post
I think you'll find that David Bokovoy was also talking about Lehi. Dust isn't about kingship, but being raised from it by God is. My point is that both Lehi and Isaiah in the above-mentioned verses are not talking about the same thing that 1 Kings 16:2 is. I haven't read the German book, so I can't comment on how Bokovoy uses its conclusions.

I only have a high school diploma, what with being conscripted, serving a mission and now getting married soon, I haven't had the time or money yet.

Well count me as impressed if al you have is a High School education. You do your family proud. I WIll let David explain his stance for you, as my interpretation of it may be off. In the meantime, I haven't had a chance to welcome you to the boards, so welcome. You are a refreshing addition.

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Volgadon,

I'm going to continue to attempt to illustrate why I find your position regarding this analogy highly problematic. Before addressing the Book of Mormon issues, I'll address the reason why I disagree with your reading of Isaiah 52.

In Isaiah 52 we read Hitnaari me'afar kumi shvi yerushalaim. Shake off the dust, not rise from the dust. Shake off the dust, arise captive Jerusalem.

The problem with your reading of Isaiah 52:2 is that it does not work grammatically. You wish to interpret the expression hitnaari me'afar as â??shake off the dust,â? and to do so in support of your understanding that the instruction refers to the cessation of a mourning ritual.

Your reading, however, is grammatically impossible

The phrase begins with a Hitpael feminine plural imperative from the root nâ??r. For your reading, â??shake off the dust,â? you would need to interpret â??afar as a direct object for the verb â??to shake.â?

The preposition min, however, prior to â??dustâ? does not function as a direct object marker. Instead, the min functions as a locational marker which â??describes the place where a thing or place originated.â? Bruce K. Waltke and M. O'Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 212.

Consider Isaiah 66:11 which features the same grammatical pattern witnessed in 52:2. Note that like 52:2, 66:11 features a Hitpael verb followed by the preposition min plus a noun:

â??That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. (Isaiah 66:11)

The Hebrew phrase derives from â??ng meaning â??to take delightâ? min â??from out ofâ? plus noun ziz â??abundanceâ?

Based upon your understanding of the grammar in 52:2, we should render this verse in Isaiah as â??be delighted abundance of her glory.â?

It doesnâ??t work.

Instead, the phrase means, â??delight yourself from the abundance of her glory.â?

Hence, in Isaiah 52:2 min plus â??dustâ? does not function in the way youâ??ve suggested, i.e. as a direct object marker. The preposition serves as a locational marker which identifies the place (the dust) where Jerusalem originated.

As a Hitpael form, the verb â??to shakeâ? carries a reflexive nuance. Hence, God instructs Jerusalem to shake herself from out of the dust, the place where she originated.

However, even the verb nâ??r in this passage may carry a nuance other than â??to shake,â? a strong possibility which presents yet another challenge to your reading.

For your understanding, you would like this root to mean â??to shake off,â? or â??to dust off.â? Though this root is typically interpreted as â??to shake,â? an analysis of its attestation in the Hebrew Bible suggests that it may carry an entirely different notion.

Consider how the verb appears in Psalm 109:23:

â??I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.â?

This example of synonymous parallelism establishes the root nâ??r as a cognate with hlk, â??meaning to walk/go,â? which would suggest that nâ??r may carry a specific nuance separate from the traditional understanding, â??to shake.â?

If we turn our attention to the cognate Semitic sources, we encounter an interesting observation, which supports this fact. In the ancient tablets of Ugarit, nâ??r appears as one of four verbs in a magic serpent charm that carries a notion of â??rapid movement.â?

In the tablet, the four verbs include:

ynâ??rnh

ysynh

yâ??dynh

yblnh

As Michael C. Astour observed in his important analysis of the tablet, these â??four verbsâ?¦ have all the same basic meaningâ?¦ â??to shake off,â?? â??to move away rapidly, to drive away,â?? â??to pass by,â?? â??to remove,â?? â??to carry off.â??â? See Michael C. Astour, â??The Ugaritic Serpent Charms,â? Journal of Near Eastern Studies, no. 27, no. 1 (1968): 25-26

Share this post


Link to post

Well you certainly have a lot to say tonight David. 4 posts and all empty - GRIN!

Share this post


Link to post

Cont.

Hence, the grammar denotes the dust as the place where Jerusalem originates prior to the command, and the reflective verb seems to carry a meaning similar to hlk, i.e. â??to move away.â? One should appropriately translate the phrase you mistakenly interpret as â??shake off the dust,â? as â??move yourself away from out of the dust.â?

This proper understanding of the passage explains why the passageâ??s literary allusion to Isaiah 29 that I've identified proves so meaningful. As a result of her disobedience, Israel/Jerusalem had been brought down to the dust, meaning a state of compelled humility.

In Isaiah 52, God calls out to Israel/Jerusalem and invites her to rise up and remove herself from the dust, i.e. the location where she originated.

Well you certainly have a lot to say tonight David. 4 posts and all empty - GRIN!

Hey, Bro. I guess my post was too long. I kept trying to post it, but the text wouldn't show up. I finally had to break it up into two parts to get the words to show up.

Share this post


Link to post
Cont.

Hence, the grammar denotes the dust as the place where Jerusalem originates prior to the command, and the reflective verb seems to carry a meaning similar to hlk, i.e. â??to move away.â? One should appropriately translate the phrase you mistakenly interpret as â??shake off the dust,â? as â??move yourself away from out of the dust.â?

This proper understanding of the passage explains why the passageâ??s literary allusion to Isaiah 29 that I've identified proves so meaningful. As a result of her disobedience, Israel/Jerusalem had been brought down to the dust, meaning a state of compelled humility.

In Isaiah 52, God calls out to Israel/Jerusalem and invites her to rise up and remove herself from the dust, i.e. the location where she originated.

Hey, Bro. I guess my post was too long. I kept trying to post it, but the text wouldn't show up. I finally had to break it up into two parts to get the words to show up.

I finally got it too. Great ideas! Very interesting. I'm counting this as my Hebrew lesson this week......

Share this post


Link to post

So I've explained why I appreciate your critique, but reject your criticism. I also appreciate the helpful contributions of Ron, Kerry, and JC which have illustrated why so many scholars, including the translators of the Jewish Publication Society recognize the kingship imagery in Isaiah 52.

Now to your objections regarding the Book of Mormon connections.

1. Rising from out of the dust denotes a movement from obscurity/humility to a position of prominence. Hence, the imagery appears as a kingship motif.

2. In the Book of Mormon, king Benjamin states that despite his position as monarch, he is precisely the same as the general population, no better than the dust of the earth. Since in the Bible, raising above the dust functions as kingship imagery, this statement provides in my mind an impressive link between the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

3. Lehi connects a position in the dust with a state of obscurity. He invites his sons to raise themselves above this state and become men of prominence. This invitation creates another literary link between the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Despite your objection to the fact, the language inviting Laman and Lemuel to raise themselves above the dust of the earth does not negate the motif, anymore than the reflexive verb form in Isaiah 52 commanding Jerusalem to move herself out of the dust and sit enthroned fails to capture the biblical motif.

As Kerry has suggested, I would assume that both Isaiah and Lehi recognized that the subject of their respective invitations would need the help of God to move from a position of obscurity to a position of prominence.

And now that we've laid it all out in the thread, I can't see how anyone could possibly object to this interpretation.

best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post
The Irish and the Italian make it so much easier....you eat, you drink (alot), you dance, and then you cry only to start all over again.

Good discussion, guys.

One note, however, and I am a very small voice in this, but my reading of it seems to indicate that it implies "taking the throne". (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:361) which would imply some kind of royal sanctioning. There is also a connection with Isaiah 47:1 which reads..."Fall down! Sit in the dirt, O virgin daughter Babylon! Sit on the ground, not on a throne, O daughter of the Babylonians! Indeed, you will no longer be called delicate and pampered."

Ron,

This was especially helpful since it presents Babylon as the antithesis of Jerusalem. Sitting in the dust appears explicitly as the exact opposite of enthronement. Hence, when we connect Isaiah 47:1 with 52:2, the link clearly puts an end to any debate against kingship imagery.

Thanks,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...