Monday, January 12, 2015


Jacob is heading back to Canaan and about to meet his brother—not a good situation, I'd say. So, he decides he better serve only YHWH, who said he would be with him and protect him—a wise decision, I'd say. "So they gave Jacob all of the foreign gods they had, as well as the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the terebinth at Shechem" Gen 35:4 CEB. So much for background, now the fun stuff:
Certainly one cannot overlook the pun on which the verse slyly pivots. For אֵלָה “oak tree” can sound very similar to אָלָה “curse. Undoubtedly, “hiding” the cursed statuettes is equivalent to interring them. They are buried because they are dead. And they are dead because Yahweh considers them cursed (Deut 27:15).—Cursed Are You!, page 209
<idle musing>
I'm (slowly) working my way through this book in between linguistic books. You'll start to see a excerpts here over the course of the next month or three...but isn't the word play marvelous? For those who don't know Hebrew, I'll transliterate: ’ēlah (oak) versus 'alah (curse)
</idle musing>

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