You are here:

Hebrew Language/Judges 5:30 Translation

Advertisement


Question
Hi!

I was looking at different english translations of Judges 5:30 and noticed most say "a maiden or two", "a woman or two", "a girl or two", etc. However the ESV says "a womb or two", which has a much different effect. What is the closest literal translation of the phrase? If it is closer to womb, why might 'girl' or 'woman' be used instead? Some clarification and maybe a little background on these translation differences would be very helpful!

Thanks,

Bekah

Answer
Bekah,

The Hebrew text is "Rehem Rahmatayim" which translates as "a womb or two".  The meaning, obviously, is "a female or two". We don't know why this phrase was used instead of the clearer girl (or woman) or two, and there are no other biblical examples were womb was used to denote a female, other than to objectify her. As an aside, the Hebrew word for husband is Ba'al, which means 'owner', and which has survived into modern Hebrew usage.

Best,


Gaddy

Hebrew Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ask the Rabbi

Expertise

What I don't do: NO NAME TRANSLATIONS. For that, try http://www.stars21.com/translator/english_to_hebrew.html

What I do: I'll help you understand Hebrew phrases or single words, as well as answer questions about Jewish customs and practices.

You may also try the Gooogle English-Hebrew translator, at http://www.google.com/dictionary?langpair=en%7Ciw&q=&hl=en&aq=f

Experience

I am a columnist for a Hebrew-language newspaper, and a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Education/Credentials
D.Med MBA BA in the US, Grade school and high school in Israel

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.