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Document Details :

Title: Ps 58,2a
Subtitle: A Forschungsbericht and a Proposal
Author(s): BEGG, C.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 64    Issue: 4   Date: December 1988   
Pages: 397-404
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.64.4.556410

Abstract :
All through history the opening words of Psalm 58 have divided translators and exegetes. This fact is already observable in comparing MT and the ancient versions. MT's 58,2a reads ha'ûmenām 'ēlem ṣedeq tedabbērûn. Within this sequence it is above all the second word, i.e. 'ēlem around which dissensus has long flourished. Generally it is agreed that, as Massoretically vocalized, the term would derive from niphal and thus mean 'dumbness, silence'. Among the early versions, however, only two, i.e. Aquila and the Targum offer renderings of the verse-half containing the 'dumbness notion'. By contrast LXX, Jerome and Syriac read rather an emphasizing adverbial formwhich, probably, although not necessarily, reflects an underlying Hebrew 'ûlam. Finally to be noted is the conflated rendition of Symmachus which couples the adverb ἄ&rho&alpha of LXX with the additional term &phi&upsilon&lambda&omicron&nu that, conceivably, reflects a Hebrew 'ēlem understood, however as deriving from 'ālam piel (= 'to gather into sheaves'), thus 'assembly.

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