14200Re: [ANE-2] Locusts on the menu
- Apr 2, 2012On 4/2/2012 11:40 AM, Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
> I was wondering if the first two legs were considered arms.In the FWIW department, here's the discussion on the matter by J.E.
> Don't they use these to clean themselves?
> But what do I know?
Hartley in his commentary on Leviticus (Word Biblical Commentary (2002)
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  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
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