Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

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Stephen Hughes
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Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 2nd, 2017, 11:55 pm

In Modern Greek at least, κόρη ὀφθαλμοῦ (the formal word vs. the informal Modern Greek κόρη του ματιού < the dim. of ὄμμα after undergoing the loss of the initial vowel and a shift of accent. The word κόρα is found as a LXX declensional form) means "pupil" (as in eye not as are in a primary school).

What does בָּבָה mean? Is the meaning based on one of the cognates باب or بوابة (Arabic) "gate", "door" or "portal"? Alternatively, is it a reduplicated form of בַּת "daughter" (cf. Greek κόρη (ending in -η because of a now lost digamma ϝ) literally means "girl"), found in the "fuller" expression אִישֹׁון בַּת־עָיִן in Psalm 17:8?

Is there a suggestion that either בָּבָה or אִישׁוֹן actually mean "apple"?
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S Walch
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by S Walch » February 3rd, 2017, 1:59 am

Seeing as though we're dealing with one of those wonderful hapex legomen in the Tanakh in Zech 2:8 (12), you will well know we can only guess from context :).

So - yes. I do believe בָּבָה is most certainly "apple" or "pupil".

BDB gives:
(I would give you what BDB says, but it messes up the PHP f the forum! :) )

HALOT doesn't give much else:
בָּבָה: cs. בָּבַת: MHb.2, JArm. בביתא, JArm.tg בָּֽבְתָא Arb. buʾbu ʾel-ʿain pupil; alt. Arb. babbat little child, cf. בַּת עַיִן Ps 178 (O’Callaghan VT 4:167), cf. pupilla from pupa: בָּבַת עַיִן eyeball Zech 212.

One would think that the Masoretic reading of Psa 17:8 is possibly a conflation of alternative readings of Psa 17:8, where the older form (אִישֹׁון) got mixed in with a newer (בַּת)? Or possibly, אִישֹׁון is the iris containing the pupil, and בָּבַת/בַּת is specifically the pupil.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 3rd, 2017, 7:20 am

S Walch wrote:Seeing as though we're dealing with one of those wonderful hapex legomen in the Tanakh in Zech 2:8 (12), you will well know we can only guess from context :).

So - yes. I do believe בָּבָה is most certainly "apple" or "pupil".
I think that tnere is a cultural misunderstanding by using "the apple of one's eye" here. So far as I understand the English idiom, it means, "you are the thing that I dote on, I gaze at, and whose reflection is always in my eye", by extension (abstraction), "my most cherished possession".
S Walch wrote:BDB gives:
(I would give you what BDB says, but it messes up the PHP f the forum! :) )

HALOT doesn't give much else:
בָּבָה: cs. בָּבַת: MHb.2, JArm. בביתא, JArm.tg בָּֽבְתָא Arb. buʾbu ʾel-ʿain pupil; alt. Arb. babbat little child, cf. בַּת עַיִן Ps 178 (O’Callaghan VT 4:167), cf. pupilla from pupa: בָּבַת עַיִן eyeball Zech 212.
BDB (pictured below) doesn't elaborate on the nature of the metaphorical reference.

Let me ask about the nature of "protection" or "keeping" given by שָׁמַר. I've seen it suggested that the reference to the eye-ball or to the pupil, or as you suggest iris, is a reference to a verb sensitive part of the body, and that if our eyes are in danger, we would have a reflexive (or is it learnt?) reaction to put our hands over our eyes -
Zechariah 2:9 wrote:διότι ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐπιφέρω τὴν χεῖρά μου ἐπ’ αὐτούς /
כִּ֠י הִנְנִ֨י מֵנִ֤יף אֶת־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם
That is to say that the hand is against them (the agressors), raised and protecting the eyes / eye-balls / pupils. Can the Hebrew be understood in that sense - in the sense of protecting the eyes themselves?
Psalm 17:8 wrote:φύλαξόν με ὡς κόραν ὀφθαλμοῦ, ἐν σκέπῃ τῶν πτερύγων σου σκεπάσεις με. /
שָׁמְרֵנִי כְּאִישֹׁון בַּת־עָיִן בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנִי׃
In Psalm 17:8 too, the accompanying imagery ἐν σκέπῃ τῶν πτερύγων σου σκεπάσεις με / בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנִי
seem to be suggesting a type of covering protection. The eye-lids offer a sort of natural over shadowing covering protection to the eye-balls / eyes / pupils, and we do raise our hands to ward off danger to our eyes. I don't think the Greek can be pushed so far as to mean, "to cause somebody to remain in some state".

The other two passages:
Deuteronomy 32:10 wrote:αὐτάρκησεν αὐτὸν ἐν γῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐν δίψει καύματος ἐν ἀνύδρῳ ἐκύκλωσεν αὐτὸν, καὶ ἐπαίδευσεν αὐτὸν, καὶ διεφύλαξεν αὐτὸν ὡς κόραν ὀφθαλμοῦ. /
יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן יְסֹֽבְבֶנְהוּ יְבֹונְנֵהוּ יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישֹׁון עֵינֹֽו׃
Proverbs 7:2 wrote:φύλαξον ἐμὰς ἐντολάς καὶ βιώσεις, τοὺς δὲ ἐμοὺς λόγους ὥσπερ κόρας ὀμμάτων. /
שְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתַי וֶחְיֵה וְתֹורָתִי כְּאִישֹׁון עֵינֶֽיךָ׃
could easily be understood in English as, "never took one's eyes off", or alternatively as "guarded", "kept safe from damage / loss / or change".

I think the idea of keep (without changing) can better be expressed in Greek by τηρεῖν or even simply by ἔχειν-κρατεῖν? What does the Hebrew suggest? Are there different Hebrew words for "to cause somebody to keep being something"?, with easily identifiable different patterns of usage?
S Walch wrote:One would think that the Masoretic reading of Psa 17:8 is possibly a conflation of alternative readings of Psa 17:8, where the older form (אִישֹׁון) got mixed in with a newer (בַּת)? Or possibly, אִישֹׁון is the iris containing the pupil, and בָּבַת/בַּת is specifically the pupil.
Does Hebrew have metre? Is Psalm 17:8 cumsily written in the Hebrew?

The BDB entry for בָּבָה is pictured here.
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by S Walch » February 3rd, 2017, 2:00 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:I think that there is a cultural misunderstanding by using "the apple of one's eye" here. So far as I understand the English idiom, it means, "you are the thing that I dote on, I gaze at, and whose reflection is always in my eye", by extension (abstraction), "my most cherished possession".
I wouldn't say it's a misunderstanding per se, though possibly the exact same correlation isn't quite there.

Essentially, both mean "something that you cherish deeply".

When it comes to the human eye, especially the iris and pupil, we cherish that more than quite a few other parts of the body. So much to the point that our eyelids automatically react to danger coming towards them. Unless you're like myself of course, and have been wearing contact lenses for most of your life - the eyelid doesn't respond quite as quick as it should!
Let me ask about the nature of "protection" or "keeping" given by שָׁמַר. I've seen it suggested that the reference to the eye-ball or to the pupil, or as you suggest iris, is a reference to a verb sensitive part of the body, and that if our eyes are in danger, we would have a reflexive (or is it learnt?) reaction to put our hands over our eyes -
Zechariah 2:9 wrote:διότι ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐπιφέρω τὴν χεῖρά μου ἐπ’ αὐτούς /
כִּ֠י הִנְנִ֨י מֵנִ֤יף אֶת־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם
That is to say that the hand is against them (the agressors), raised and protecting the eyes / eye-balls / pupils. Can the Hebrew be understood in that sense - in the sense of protecting the eyes themselves?
Most definitely. See above on the automatic reaction of the eyelids.

Also, when we protect others, it is natural to bury them face (specifically eyes) first into one's chest - it is more than a reflexive reaction.
Psalm 17:8 wrote:φύλαξόν με ὡς κόραν ὀφθαλμοῦ, ἐν σκέπῃ τῶν πτερύγων σου σκεπάσεις με. /
שָׁמְרֵנִי כְּאִישֹׁון בַּת־עָיִן בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנִי׃
In Psalm 17:8 too, the accompanying imagery ἐν σκέπῃ τῶν πτερύγων σου σκεπάσεις με / בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵֽנִי
seem to be suggesting a type of covering protection.

The eye-lids offer a sort of natural over shadowing covering protection to the eye-balls / eyes / pupils, and we do raise our hands to ward off danger to our eyes. I don't think the Greek can be pushed so far as to mean, "to cause somebody to remain in some state".
Yes. Think "Shield" would be a better translation of שָׁמַר in Psa 17:8: "Shield me like (you would) the inner-eye"; in order to bring across the protective nature of the context - it isn't keeping someone in a state; it's literally a complete protection being requested.
The other two passages:
Deuteronomy 32:10 wrote:αὐτάρκησεν αὐτὸν ἐν γῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐν δίψει καύματος ἐν ἀνύδρῳ ἐκύκλωσεν αὐτὸν, καὶ ἐπαίδευσεν αὐτὸν, καὶ διεφύλαξεν αὐτὸν ὡς κόραν ὀφθαλμοῦ. /
יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן יְסֹֽבְבֶנְהוּ יְבֹונְנֵהוּ יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישֹׁון עֵינֹֽו׃
Proverbs 7:2 wrote:φύλαξον ἐμὰς ἐντολάς καὶ βιώσεις, τοὺς δὲ ἐμοὺς λόγους ὥσπερ κόρας ὀμμάτων. /
שְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתַי וֶחְיֵה וְתֹורָתִי כְּאִישֹׁון עֵינֶֽיךָ׃
could easily be understood in English as, "never took one's eyes off", or alternatively as "guarded", "kept safe from damage / loss / or change".
Agreed. I have also thought that שָׁמַר should be translated as "guard" more often than "keep", for "keep" has more a sense of "follow" in English rather then "keep safe, protect" that is to be understood from the use of שָׁמַר.
I think the idea of keep (without changing) can better be expressed in Greek by τηρεῖν or even simply by ἔχειν-κρατεῖν?
One of the interesting developments between LXX and NT Greek, was the transferred use of φυλασσω to τηρεω for the sense of "keeping" or "guarding" the commandments of God. φυλασσω is the predominant word in LXX (413 uses) as compared to τηρεω (27); whereas the NT changes to τηρεω being the predominant word (71) compared to φυλασσω (31); and of the 31 uses of φυλασσω in the NT, only 11 of them correspond to how the LXX uses φυλασσω to indicate "keep, guard, observe".
What does the Hebrew suggest? Are there different Hebrew words for "to cause somebody to keep being something"?, with easily identifiable different patterns of usage?
Would think that נָצַר fits this usage the closest. Granted, this is only off the top of my head - I'll see if I can't find something more appropriate.
S Walch wrote:Does Hebrew have metre? Is Psalm 17:8 cumsily written in the Hebrew?
It does, albeit I'm hardly an expert and can't comment too much on that. I would say that the double stop provided by the two final-nun's in כְּאִישׁוֹן בַּת־עָיִן seem out of place - one stop at the end would work better:

שָׁמְרֵנִי כְִּבַּת־עָיִן
בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנִי


We can see the metre more clearly in v10:

חֶלְבָּמוֹ סָּגְרוּ פִּימוֹ דִּבְּרוּ בְגֵאוּת

The interchanges of וֹ and וּ work well.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 4th, 2017, 1:16 am

S Walch wrote:I wouldn't say it's a misunderstanding per se, though possibly the exact same correlation isn't quite there.

Essentially, both mean "something that you cherish deeply".

When it comes to the human eye, especially the iris and pupil, we cherish that more than quite a few other parts of the body. So much to the point that our eyelids automatically react to danger coming towards them. Unless you're like myself of course, and have been wearing contact lenses for most of your life - the eyelid doesn't respond quite as quick as it should!
Adding to that, by coincidence, mentioning another issue of eyes in translation; "Be thou my vision", could be understood internally - "the way I see things" - by an optician, "Oh Lord, let me see the world the way that you see it.", or externally - "see Jesus in everything" - by a seer, "Oh Lord, I want to see you, working in the creation."

One would need to go back to the original language of composition to see whether, "Rop tú mo baile" was internal ("sight", "eyes") or external ("revelation", "image").

Here, in the internal pupil / external delight distinction, it seems the English is more external.
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S Walch
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by S Walch » February 5th, 2017, 3:25 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Here, in the internal pupil / external delight distinction, it seems the English is more external.
Can only agree with that - Hebrew really doesn't look like it's making an external delight declaration.

Wonder if any current Bible Translation has adequately brought the distinction across...

edit:
Thankfully, there are several -
Selection 1: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... B;CJB;AMPC
Selection 2: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... CB;ISV;TLB
Selection 3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... RV;NLV;NLT
Selection 4: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=TLV

ESV and Lexham don't - disappointing on the Lexham front =/
Ironically, the NIV doesn't, but the NIRV does. That's at least two children's bibles (ICB) that have done a better job than the "adult" versions :)
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 7th, 2017, 5:28 pm

Okay, with the defence of the (pupils of the) eyes imagery in mind, let's go back to Zacheriah 2:8. If the eyes are being guarded in that verse, then it will show up in the following verse too.
Zacheriah 2:9 (13 in LXX) wrote:διότι (=כִּי) ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐπιφέρω τὴν χεῖρά μου ἐπ’ αὐτούς
כִּ֠י הִנְנִ֨י מֵנִ֤יף אֶת ־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם
Does the use use of נוּף allow for the interpretation of the hand being raised in a(n instinctively) defensive way? Does the sequence of tenses from מֵנִ֤יף to וְהָי֥וּ שָׁלָ֖ל לְעַבְדֵיהֶ֑ם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּֽי־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֹ֖ות שְׁלָחָֽנִי׃ suggest that they are a literal causal relationship? In other words, does the tense choice or the discourse markers in Hebrew suggest that the defence-of-the-eyes imagery is confined to verse 8, and that the raising of the hand is an offensive act resulting in the plunder, or is the phrase with מֵנִ֤יף אֶת ־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם able to be part of what is going on in verse 8? The Greek "discourse markers", if you could call them that, are clearly clalques - ὀπίσω for אַחַ֣ר, διότι for כִּ֚י - rather than being an indication of meaning with reference to the rules of Greek usage, so exploring other examples in native-speaker Greek might be futile.

That is to also implicitly say that touching (נָגַע "touch") involves bringing something right up into one's face, which would evoke a reflexive response. Do any of the commentators talk about the arm being raised here in a recoil or defensive action?
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by S Walch » February 8th, 2017, 3:11 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Does the use use of נוּף allow for the interpretation of the hand being raised in a(n instinctively) defensive way?
If the following word wasn't עֲלֵיהֶם, then possibly- how it's used with עֲלֵ is quite distinctively hostile (Isa 11:15; 19:16). Though bar the waving of the sheaf, נוּף isn't used in many non-threatening or defensive type settings.
Does the sequence of tenses from מֵנִ֤יף to וְהָי֥וּ שָׁלָ֖ל לְעַבְדֵיהֶ֑ם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּֽי־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֹ֖ות שְׁלָחָֽנִי׃ suggest that they are a literal causal relationship? In other words, does the tense choice or the discourse markers in Hebrew suggest that the defence-of-the-eyes imagery is confined to verse 8, and that the raising of the hand is an offensive act resulting in the plunder, or is the phrase with מֵנִ֤יף אֶת ־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם able to be part of what is going on in verse 8?
I wouldn't say the tense choice gives us much to go on, however there isn't much that seems to correlate the end of 2:8 with the start of 2:9.

The imagery I get from v8 to v9, is that one of Yahweh's hands is protecting Israel, whilst the other is being waved against the nations who had plundered Israel.

Think Arnold Schwarzenegger protecting his daughter in Commando, whilst shooting at the bad guys - though with less bullets, more mighty power =P

Would also take v8 as harkening back to v5
That is to also implicitly say that touching (נָגַע "touch") involves bringing something right up into one's face, which would evoke a reflexive response. Do any of the commentators talk about the arm being raised here in a recoil or defensive action?
Unfortunately I only have a few commentaries on Zech, and none of them discuss the Hebrew adequately, nor the understanding between the two verses here.

I don't even know which commentary on Zechariah has received universal acclaim as being one worth reading.
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 8th, 2017, 5:02 pm

S Walch wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Does the sequence of tenses from מֵנִ֤יף to וְהָי֥וּ שָׁלָ֖ל לְעַבְדֵיהֶ֑ם וִֽידַעְתֶּ֕ם כִּֽי־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֹ֖ות שְׁלָחָֽנִי׃ suggest that they are a literal causal relationship? In other words, does the tense choice or the discourse markers in Hebrew suggest that the defence-of-the-eyes imagery is confined to verse 8, and that the raising of the hand is an offensive act resulting in the plunder, or is the phrase with מֵנִ֤יף אֶת ־ יָדִי֙ עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם able to be part of what is going on in verse 8?
I wouldn't say the tense choice gives us much to go on, however there isn't much that seems to correlate the end of 2:8 with the start of 2:9.
While the reason for the repetition of connectives is quite different, in the Greek of verses 8 and 9, the use of διότι (כִּ֚י) give about as much cohesion to the various thoughts of these verses as Miss Teen South Carolina 2007's use of "like such as" did in her summation of the state of Geography teaching.
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Re: Zach.2:8 ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ αὐτοῦ בָבַת עֵינֹֽו

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 8th, 2017, 5:10 pm

S Walch wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Does the use use of נוּף allow for the interpretation of the hand being raised in a(n instinctively) defensive way?
If the following word wasn't עֲלֵיהֶם, then possibly- how it's used with עֲלֵ is quite distinctively hostile (Isa 11:15; 19:16). Though bar the waving of the sheaf, נוּף isn't used in many non-threatening or defensive type settings.

...

The imagery I get from v8 to v9, is that one of Yahweh's hands is protecting Israel, whilst the other is being waved against the nations who had plundered Israel.

Think Arnold Schwarzenegger protecting his daughter in Commando, whilst shooting at the bad guys - though with less bullets, more mighty power =P
Recognising that the relationship between the Hebrew and Greek of Job is different to the more woody (encoded Hebrew) situation in Zechariah, have a look at this use of נוּף with עֲלֵ in this verse:
Job 31:21 wrote:אִם־הֲנִיפֹ֣ותִי עַל־יָתֹ֣ום יָדִ֑י כִּֽי־אֶרְאֶ֥ה בַ֝שַּׁ֗עַר עֶזְרָתִֽי׃
Does the Hebrew suggest that Job was acting aggressively or with hostility towards the orphans, or that he guestured to them or that he shunned them in their plight, or that he made a legal judgement against them, or that he ... ?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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