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Re: Babel in the east or not?

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 22, 1998, 23:31
On Tue, 22 Dec 1998 07:43:17 +0000 "Raymond A. Brown"
<raybrown@...> writes:
>At 7:10 pm -0500 19/12/98, Sally Caves wrote: >>On Sat, 19 Dec 1998, Steg Belsky wrote: >>> But it's *not* "to" - it says *from*, explicitly! >>> _vayehi benas`am MI-qedem_. >>> MI- = from >>> It's as simple as that. I don't know from where all these >translations >>> came up with "to".
>Geography? >The plain of Shinar is, as Sally says, in the Tigris-Euphrates basin. >The >descendants of Noah are supposed to have lived in the Ararat region >which >is to the north-west of Shinar. Thus if they were travelling from >Ararat >to Shinar they'd be travelling _towards_ east unless, of course, they >took >a circular route.
They didn't necessarily live in the Araratt region - there are some commentaries, which i quoted, that explain that Noahh and his family moved from Araratt to the region east of where Eden had been - which would also be east of Shin`ar. Also, _miqedem_ can be understood not as the direction of their movement, but of the direction of the view of the hebrews who were recieving the narrative - both Araratt and Shin`ar are east of egypt, sinai, and cana`an. Therefore, _benas`am miqedem_ can be understood as _as they traveled over there in the east_. And anyway, Mt. Ararat is directly *north* of the central Tigris-Euphrates (Perat-Hhideqel) basin. So, if anything they would be traveling south, not east.
>In any case, I thought the term 'miqeddem' was vague in Hebrew - even >the >King James Version though translating it as "from the east" gives >"eastwards" as an alternative reading in its marginalia. Or is >'qeddem' >the normal Hebrew for east?
Qedem is a normal biblical Hebrew word for east. Another way to say "east" is _mizrahh_. Today, _mizrahh_ is almost exclusively used. The "to" case form of _qedem_, _qeidma_ is used in the biblical verse where God says that the patriarchs' descendants "will spread out westwards, *eastwards*, northwards, and southwards" <<< _ufaratzta yama ve*qeidma*, tzafona venegba_. -Stephen (Steg)
>Ray. >
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