Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Naar or Naara?

In old English, the word "girl" meant a child of either gender. It was only around the beginning of the 16th century that the meaning of the word shifted, and "girl" came to mean specifically a female child.

Shmuel Dovid Luzatto makes the not-at-all-unreasonable suggestion that something similar happened in biblical Hebrew.  The word naar, which today means specifically a male youth, seems to have once been employed to describe a youth of either gender. When the Torah speaks of  various marriage violations in Deuteronomy 22 a word spelled naar is used on 13 occasions to denote a female. The same usage appears in many other places in the Torah.

For Luzzato and others, this is strong evidence that there was an alteration in meaning, and that the alteration occurred after the Torah was written.

Today, we avoid the problem by vocalizing the word naar in those instances so that it is read naarah, ie נַּעֲרָ, that word that today means specifically a female youth.

Search for more information about meaning shifts at 4torah.com.


Anonymous said...

Bad times make a good man.

4uUfj http://www.cheapuggbootsan.com/
vQqb http://www.michaelkorsoutletez.com/
mIko http://www.cheapfashionshoesam.com/
2lWnp http://www.burberryoutletxi.com/
5gRuc http://www.nflnikejerseysshopxs.com/
2uItz http://www.coachfactoryoutlesa.com/
3dSsc 7eYem 5hSqy 2bHhv 8qXox 4dLca 2uVth 5bOql 2wXnp

Anonymous said...

cheap ugg boots zzxpncdx cheap uggs kajcohir ugg boots sale xupzpgvc ugg boots uk olgoflgo ugg boots hvnkriog ugg sale aaewdraj

Anonymous said...

ghd baratas tgbhrbfv ghd espa?a mlkjostw ghd planchas eczjqajx ghd nqhpdyps plancha ghd jthbekpb planchas ghd baratas drzwysmj planchas ghd zpazbtrz