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This week we'll take words from bible stories your religious-school teachers probably never taught you.

From I Kings 1:
quote:
Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
The place-name and the story give us:

shunamitism – rejuvenation of an old man by a young woman

The original effort was unsuccessful: "And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not."
 
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Umm. I suspect the Sunday-school teachers didn't teach "knew" in that meaning, either.
 
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I tried to put this in the "Flowery Language" thread but the....(better not swear in this thread Wink)....blasted thing is locked. So--perhaps it belongs here since we are discussing the Bible.

William Zinseer, in "On Writing Well", tells how Orwell satirizes modern "bureaucratic fuzz" with his version of this Ecclesiastes verse. You may have seen it elsewhere:

"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to all."

Orwell's "fuzz" version. amd it sounds just like our mission statement Razz:

"Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredicable must invariably be taken into account."
 
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From the same biblical passage:

abishag (from Hebrew: "the father's error") – the child of a woman by a man married to someone else

A very rare word, not included in in one-look on line or even in OED. I've found it in Mrs. Byrne's dictionary and in one other word-book. However, Mrs. Bryne errs on the etymology: many sources on biblical names say that "Abishag" is Hebrew for "father's error," and not (as Mrs. Bryne says) for "mother's error". An interesting comment on sexual responsibility .

You can fined "Abishag" on-line, but only as the proper name. I cannot find a single use of it as a word. Robert Frost refers to her, but does not follow the bible story. To Frost, Abishag personifies the Hollywood starlet who, though prized in the beauty of her youth, becomes a forgotten and impoverished has-been in old age.
quote:
The witch that came (the withered hag)
To wash the steps with pail and rag,
Was once the beauty Abishag,

The picture pride of Hollywood.
Too many fall from great and good
For you to doubt the likelihood.
...
No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!
 
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alcedama – a battlefield; a place with dreadful associations
(Aramaic: "field of blood," the name given to the "potter's field" bought with Judas's filthy lucre)(accent on second syllable)
quote:
No God, being interpreted, means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion. Who but a fool would be of this mind? What a Bedlam, or rather what an Aceldama, would the world become if such lawless principles came to be universal!
-- Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-92), Treasury of David. Spurgeon was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century.
 
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The Net tells me that Rilke wrote a poem entitled Abishag, and perhaps another poem featuring her, though I can't find copies, and even if I found them I couldn't read the German. Robb, is there any chance you, as our German scholar, could find out whether Rilke's references to her were more faithful to the bible story than was Frost's?

Edit: found a translation of the poem titled Abishag.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Hey, Wordcrafter, are ya gonna tell us about Dodo the Ahohite? Big Grin
 
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It's a totally new one on me, Asa. Do tell?

pharisee - a self-righteous or sanctimonious person
From the name of ancient Jewish sect, at the time of Jesus, noted for strict obedience to Jewish traditions. Curious whether there are strains of anti-semitism in this word; comment?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
Curious whether there are strains of anti-semitism in this word; comment?


Anti-pharisee perhaps, certainly not anti-semitic.

Stephen.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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It's a totally new one on me, Asa. Do tell?
________________________________________________
For some reason, Dodo the Ahohite seems the funniest name in the bible! (2nd Samuel 23:9; 1 Chronicles 11:12) How would you like to be stuck with such a name nowadays? It's almost as bad as being stuck with my actual name (Geoffrey) in a non-British country. They NEVER get it right in the USA!
 
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Anti-pharisee perhaps, certainly not anti-semitic.
________________________________________________
The christian bible uses the term derisively, to be sure, pointing out their self-righteousness. Ironic, but today it's the fundamentalist christians for whom the application is all too often apt!
 
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Fundie Xtians are the new pharisees.

Stephen.
 
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Even in biblical times, before the automobile, there were crazy drivers. In 2 Kings 9:20, as a chariot approaches:
quote:
The lookout reported, "The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi - he drives like a madman."

jehu - a driver, especially one who drives furiously
 
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Judges 12:5-6 tells how Gileadites identified members of the tribe of Ephraim:
quote:
the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;

Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordane
shibboleth - a word or pronunciation that distinguishes another;
a custom or practice that betrays one as an outsider
 
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the word seems to have been slighted much like the word swastika.

The Pharisees were the precursers to the rabbi, and at the time of Paul, the Rabbis were taking the lead in Judaism.

It was,perhaps, an intentional slight by Paul in order to gain the needed authority in establishing Christianity as the true word of the "Book".

But in the time of Christ, it was the Pharisaic sect that kept the "Book" and Jewish law open to interpretation; while the Sadducees were the strict observers.

If any Jewish sect worked with the Romans to crucify Christ (which I doubt) it would have been the Sadducees and the High Priest - not the Pharisees.

So Paul was simply identifying the surviving Jewish sect of his time with the motivation of usurping the authority of the ancient texts.

It wouldn't do him any good to condemn the Sadducees since they were'nt around anymore.

All this comes from a book I read a while back by a Jewish author, but it seems entirely plausable.
 
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Well, gr8dane, it has been awhile. We have missed you! Wink
 
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You're too kind, Kalleh.

I'll have to come around more often if you keep practicing shunamitism.

(not that I'm THAT old)
 
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Nor I that young! Wink
 
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simony - the buying or selling of a church office, privilege or service; for example, accepting a fee for performing a baptism. A grave sin under Catholic doctrine.

from Simon Magus, Samaritan sorcerer who attempted to buy spiritual power from the apostles.
 
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