Monday, July 22, 2013

Rav Saadia Gaon on Ashterot Tzonecha

Most of this is done with pictures.

At the start of Ekev, Saadia Gaon that ashterot tzonecha is vegafrat jinmak:

The Arabic word ghanam is sheep, so ghinmak means your sheep. The word before, we-gaphrat, I don't know.

Rabbenu Yonah Ibn Janach on the meaning of this:

and in Sefer Hashorashim of Ibn Janach, where this compilation is getting it from:

What does it mean to say that the ghufar is from the בני השה? Is it a term for a young sheep, as I think?

Elsewhere, we see this Arabic ghufar as a cognate of Hebrew עפר, as in עפר האילים. From Keil and Delitzsh's commentary on Song of Songs:
 עפר is the young hart, like the Arab. ghufar (ghafar), the young chamois, probably from the covering of young hair; whence also the young lion may be called כּפיר. 
The chamois is a goat-antelope species. But I think the idea is the young of the species. And here, the young females of the sheep species.

1 comment:

Abu Khamr said...

The JFR root in Arabic can give rise to words which mean shorn sheep or she-camel (jafra), so maybe the first word is wa-jafraat, and in the medieval `Arabic of Saadia meant something like flocks?


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