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14200Re: [ANE-2] Locusts on the menu

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  • Jgibson
    Apr 2, 2012
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      On 4/2/2012 11:40 AM, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
      > I was wondering if the first two legs were considered arms.
      > Don't they use these to clean themselves?
      > But what do I know?
      > Liz
      In the FWIW department, here's the discussion on the matter by J.E.
      Hartley in his commentary on Leviticus (Word Biblical Commentary (2002)
      p. 160.

      Almost all small land animals are classified as unclean. The phrase
      ???? ??-????, "go on all fours," is an expression for darting about.
      E. Fink (RÉJ 63 [1912] 122--23) takes feet (?????) in v 23 as a
      dual, meaning four pairs of legs. He accounts for the four pairs by
      including the antennae every insect has as numbered with the feet.
      Unfortunately Fink's explanation does not help very much with the
      phrase "go on all four" in v 20. For clarity in the English
      translation this phrase is rendered "dart about." Four locusts are
      named as exceptions to flying insects' being unclean. They are clean
      because they have a pair of larger, jointed legs for hopping.
      According to Douglas (Purity, 66), their hopping action along with
      their ability to fly makes them comparable to birds; thus their
      movement is appropriate to the sphere in which they live.
      Milgrom ("Ethics and Ritual," 189), however, finds her explanation
      wanting since locusts may "walk" as well as hop; he proposes that
      their classification as edible is an exception in deference to the
      ancient pastorals' fondness for this food.

      and by Péter-Contesse & Ellington in A handbook on Leviticus. UBS
      handbooks; Helps for translating (1992 )

      That go upon all fours: this expression is surprising, since the
      ancient Jews almost certainly knew that winged insects had six legs.
      The expression was probably used in a nonliteral sense, meaning "to
      crawl," and was used of any flying creature with more than two legs,
      to distinguish the insects from other flying creatures such as the
      birds just mentioned in the previous verses. tev has avoided the
      problem altogether, and other modern versions have omitted the
      number "four." frcl, for example, has "insects which have wings and
      legs." In other languages the idea may possibly be rendered "with
      more than two legs."


      Jeffrey B. Gibson D.Phil. Oxon.
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd
      Chicago, Il.

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