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Offline James  
#1 Posted : Saturday, February 3, 2018 1:12:35 PM(UTC)
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Since I covered a lot of reading from dictionaries and lexicons I have been asked to share my notes since it may have been difficult to follow.

Context first and foremost. I wanted to examine Yeremyah 9:25 and 26, but had to start with 8:18 to get the context for it.
8:18 actually is a good one to examine because of the flaws I found in the English translations when translating it. So in the KJV the 8:18 and 19 is rendered:
Jer 8:18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.
Jer 8:19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?

I choose to render it as

My comfort/comforter (mab’li’gith –my source of brightness, encouragement or one who provides encouragement) because of and concerning sorrow (al yagon – anguish and grief, a mental troubling resulting from affliction) upon my faint (al daw’way – emotionally weak or ill) heart (leb – my inner most being, my mind and understanding, my heart and soul, my knowledge and thinking, my reflections and memories, my inclinations and resolutions, my conscience and moral character, my emotions and passions). Behold (hinneh) the voice of the cry for help of the daughters of my people (qowl saw’ah bat am ‘any) from lands and regions (‘eretz) which are distant (merhaq – a far distance, a state of alienation), “Is Yahowah not existing in Zion (ha Yahowah ‘ayin ba tsiy’yon)”
Mab’li’gith can mean both comfort or comforter. I am inclined to see this as Yeremeyah calling out to Yahowah, and thus calling Him my Comforter. He is calling out to Yahowah because he is suffering watching his people continue to disregard Yahowah and the Covenant. He is experiencing sorrow and his heart has grown weak.
Another thing you will notice is that I rendered ‘al two different ways in the statement. ‘Al can convey many things, so context is needed to determine how it gets rendered. It’s first use here I opted to render it because of and concerning, the KJV opted for rendering it against. Both are possible translations of the word. I choose not to use against, because I don’t see how one can be comforted against something you can however be comforted concerning something. The second use of ‘al I rendered in its most common form as upon, the KJV ignores it all together. The change is subtle but worth noting. By telling us that the sorrow is upon his heart, and understanding the Hebrew view of heart as the inner being, we understand better Yeremeyah’s mindset which will be important later in the passage when we will see him ready to abandon his people. So while ignoring ‘al here doesn’t change the verse a lot, it does influence how we may view the passage as a whole.
The next part of the statement I render very differently than the KJV. Yahowah responds.
“If her King (‘im melek hu – if her king, ruler or sovereign) does not exist in her (‘aiyn ba hu) why do they vex, agitate, stir up, and provoke my heart to a heated condition which in turn leads to specific actions (ka’as – scribed in the hifil steam meaning the subject, Yisra’el, causes the object, Yahowah, to engage in the action) because of those idols and images (ba pasil hemah – worship icon, graven or carved images, crosses and statuary), because of worthless and foreign idols (ba hebel nakar – meaningless, empty and futile foreign idols).”
The first thing you will notice is that contrary to most all English translations I have chosen to render the first part of this statement in Yahowah’s voice and not in the voice crying for help. This is because unlike English translation I am not ignoring the use of ‘im at the beginning of the statement. They opt to translate the statement as though a ha precedes it instead. In Hebrew rather than a question mark being used at the end of a sentence to indicate an interrogative different words placed at the beginning to indicate question. In the previous statement it was a ha which indicates a binary question where the answer is yes or no. So the previous statement was a yes or no question is Yahowah not existing in Zion. The ‘im on the other hand is used indicate a question with a condition, it is the equivalent of in English asking “If”. So since there is no dispute that the second part of this statement is Yahowah responding than the first part of the statement must be also or else there is no condition for the ‘im. You would read Is Yahowah not existing in Zion? If her King does not exist in her. Which is an incomplete thought.
So rather than Yisra’el asking a question Yahowah makes a statement telling us that her melek, king or sovereign does not exist in her. Yahowah’s intent was for Him to be the leader or melek of Yisra’el, so he is answering the cry by stating that He is not with them, and then He goes on to tell them why with the second part of His question. So this first part could be summed up as if you want my help, and you know I am not with you than why do you ka’as?
So my first step is to examine the definitions and possible renderings of ka’as. For this my first stop is the Dictionary of Biblical Languages here I find:
be angry, be vexed, be incensed, i.e., be in a state of strong displeasure, (piel) anger, provoke; (hif) provoke to anger or distress (1Sa 1:7), note: the provocation can be verbal or action oriented
I then look above and below to see if there are any other words with the same root letters, but vocalized differently. And I find that as a noun it means:
sorrow, grief, i.e., a feeling of anxiety and sadness in a distressing situation; 2. anger, fury, i.e., have a strong feeling of displeasure and annoyance based on a wrong, real or perceived, 3. taunt, i.e., a speaking of words of scorn, implying anger toward object of scorn, with a focus on eliciting a response by the mocking; 4. LN 88.171–88.191 provocation, i.e., cause another to be angry by an action
So now I am beginning to get a picture of what the word means and what it is conveying. But I dig a little deeper and I turn to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament and find:
be vexed, indignant, angry, wroth, be grieved, provoke to anger and wrath.
With its derivatives being”
The root meaning of kāʿas is to vex, agitate, stir up, or provoke the heart to a heated condition which in turn leads to specific actions. This term, as well as the synonyms for anger and wrath (ʾap, ḥēmâ, qaṣap, and ʿebrâ; see discussion of synonyms at qāṣap) are used anthropomorphically and anthropopathically of God. They refer to God’s inner self as vexed and provoked by rebellion or sin. The term when applied to God, implies that man can affect the very heart of God so as to cause him heat, pain, or grief to various degrees of intensity.
In the Qal stem the verb is used five times to indicate the state of vexation in men. Thus, king Asa was vexed or exasperated when he was rebuked by the prophet Hanani (II Chr 16:10); likewise Sanballat when he saw builders at work on the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 4:1 [H 3:33]). From these instances we may gather that the state of vexation is not normally proper for a true child of God. In fact, Eccl 7:9 teaches that the child of God should not be hasty in spirit to be vexed, because such vexation rests in the bosom of fools.
God is said not to continue in this state of vexation when his jealousy is quieted (Ezk 16:42). Indeed, vexation is not an abiding attribute of God. Yet, his people may provoke him to anger and wrath by their unfaithfulness. Because God is holy and loving he will only share himself with a people whom he has bound to himself in covenant love, and whom he has taken to himself for fellowship and service. He never shares himself with the profane and wicked. Hence when his covenant people become unfaithful to him, he, by virtue of his holiness and jealous love (Ex 34:14), is provoked to anger and wrath against them. Thus he may be deeply vexed, agitated, pained, or grieved by disobedient Israel. This is the general burden of the forty-five passages in the OT in which the Hiphil stem of the verb is used. E.g., Moses warned the Israelites that if their descendants, after having been in the promised land, corrupt themselves by making graven images in any form, the Lord will be deeply vexed at them. He calls heaven and earth to witness that God in his vexation will make them to utterly perish from off the earth (Deut 4:25). Moses speaks also of his fear of God when God has been aroused to a highly vexed state (Deut 9:1–8). And when God has been continuously and deeply provoked, vexed, grieved, much is required to quiet the heart of God. E.g. king Mannesseh provoked God so deeply by his pervasive involvement in idolatry (cf. II Kgs 21:1–26) that when Josiah attempted reforms, the Lord was not appeased. Judgment had to fall upon Judah (II Kgs 23:26), a judgment which destroyed many of the people and removed the nation from the promised land. This judgment, in keeping with God’s justice is not contrary to divine love. Rather, it is an expression of divine love which has been offended, rejected and deeply grieved. Divine love suffers long; it also defends itself and removes the objects of its vexation and sorrow.
Then I check my other dictionaries and lexicons to see if they match what I am getting from these two sources. In this case I find that my other lexicons:
Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs English Hebrew Lexicon
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldeon Lexicon
A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon
All agree on the basic meaning of the word.

So now I know that ka’as speaks of provoking anger, of agitating and stirring up anger in someone, and furthermore of that anger leading to actions.
Next I examine the stems, moods and tenses if any applied to it. Here it is scribbed in the hifil stem. To understand the hifil stem I turn to the Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology and find:
In Biblical Hebrew, ‘stem’ refers to the relationship of the verb’s subject to the action of the verb. That is, stems convey grammatical ‘voice’ relationships. The hifʿîl stem indicates the causative sense of verbs. That is, the subject of the verb in the hifʿîl stem causes the object of the verb to participate in the action of the verb as a sort of ‘undersubject’ or ‘secondary subject’. In the sentence “Bob caused the car to crash,” the direct object [car] participates in the action that the subject [Bob] caused.
Meaning Yisra’el is provoking the anger in Yahowah which will lead to action.
Had there been any other grammatical nuances to the word I would look them up in the Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology as well, but in this case there were none.
Moving on we are told what was provoking Yahowah’s anger. It was because of those idols and images. Pasil is a simple word it speaks of graven or carved images, anything that is believed to be or to represent a god, think of crosses, and statuary adorning churches today. Yahowah continues to further describe why He is angry with hebel nakar. In Hebrew adjectives follow nouns so nakar is an adjective modifying hebel. Nakar simply speaks of that which is foreign. The DBL defines it as foreign land or a foreigner, TWOT reinforces this as do the other lexicons. Hebel is another Hebrew word for idol so we must pay attention and examine its nuances. It carries much deeper connotations than pasil did.
So again we turn to the DBL and see:
idol, i.e., a fashioned object with a focus on its lack of value 2. meaninglessness emptiness, futility, uselessness, i.e., what is of no use on the basis of being futile and lacking in content 3. breath, vapor, i.e., unit of air that passes in and out of the lungs through mouth and nostrils, with a focus on its briefness and lack of content
Vocalized differently but spelled the same we find
be worthless, useless, i.e., to lack value 2. talk worthlessly, i.e., speak content which has little or no value; 3. be proud, i.e., have an improper haughtiness as a moral failure, with a focus that the object of one’s pride is worthless and of no value, implying a trust in said objects; 4. fill with false hopes, i.e., mislead a person to a false view or opinion and so have an empty, worthless hope
I then turn to TWOT and find:
Vapor, breath, vanity. This substantive is translated almost exclusively by the KJV as “vanity.” Except for the passages in Eccl, where the RSV concurs with the KJV, the RSV generally leans to the translation “breath” or “worthless.” The noun appears seventy-one times in the OT. Thirty-six times it is used in Eccl, where it occurs at least once in each of the twelve chapters except chapter ten.
The proper name, Abel, the second son of Adam, is also written hebel. Whether or not there is a connection between this and the substantive under discussion is another matter. Most of the Hebrew lexions have connected “Abel” with the cognate Akkadian word ablu/aplu “son.” One will note that Abel is named in Gen 4 without any explanation, a fact that can hardly be without significance since almost all the proper names in Genesis are explained by assonances.
The basic meaning of hebel is “wind” or “breath.” This is illustrated best in Isa 57:13. “The wind (rûaḥ) will carry them off, a breath (hebel) will take them away,” and Prov 21:6, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor (hebel niddāp).” The verb nādap, meaning “to drive,” is most often used in connection with the wind as the driving force (e.g. Ps 1:4; 68:2 [H 3]).
There are three basic categories or contexts in which hebel is used. First, it is used as a designation for false gods worshiped by the people of God and hence is usually translated in this context by the RSV as “idols”: Deut 32:21; I Kgs 16:13, 26; II Kgs 17:15; Jer 2:5; 8:19 (parallel to pesel); 10:8, 15; 51:18; Jon 2:8; Ps 31:6 [H 7].
Secondly, the term represents the individual and sometimes exasperating sentiments of individuals: Isa 49:4 where the servant Israel says, “I have labored in vain (rîq), I have spent my strength for nothing (tōhû) and vanity (hebel).” Job complains about the brevity and uncertainty of his life (7:16). Cf. the similar idea in the Psalter: Ps 39:5,6, 11 [H 6, 7, 12]; 62:9 [H 10]; 78:33 (in which hebel is parallel to behālâ, from the root bāhal “to hasten”):94:11; 144:4 (hebel parallel to ṣēl). Hence, hebel seems to mean here “short-lived. ”
Third is the cluster of references found in Eccl (thirty-six). These may be grouped into several subdivisions. First are those passages in which the author states his inability to find fulfillment in work, both in his failure to be creative and in his lack of control over the privilege of free disposition of his possessions; this is “vanity”:2:11, 19, 21, 23; 4:4, 8; 6:2. Second are those verses in which the author struggles with the idea that the connection between sin and judgment, righteousness and final deliverance is not always direct or obvious. This is an anomaly about life and it is “vanity”:2:15; 6:7–9; 8:10–14. The meaning of hebel here would be “senseless.” Thirdly are those verses in which the author laments the shortness of life; this is “vanity”:3:19; 6:12; 11:8, 10. Life, in its quality, is “empty” or “vacuous” (and thus unsubstantial), and in its quantity is “transitory.”
Rather than the above observations being final conclusions about life by the author of Eccl, perhaps they reveal something of his method and his concealed premise. He may be attempting to demonstrate man’s inability to find meaning to life unaided by divine revelation and interruption. This solo quest will always end in futility

Upon inspection our other lexicons concur with the vapor, breath definition as well, enforcing the fleeting nature of the word.
It speaks of the idols as being worthless, meaningless and empty. Hebel nakar tells us that these idols were adopted from foreign people and that they are worthless to us providing false hope.

Don't take my word for it, Look it up.

“The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.” ― Ayn Rand
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