ראשׁ as headland?
Carmel ridge from south.
One of the delights of writing a commentary, at least one that is published publicly (here I intend to imply, rudely, that print publication seeks to privatise works, while electronic publication actually publishes them ;) though that is not the purpose of this post
), is that readers write back. Today I had an email from such a reader.
...reading your commentary, I am not happy with the "dried crest of Carmel", for the crest of every mountain is dry, naturally, even without Adonai roaring, and the crest ist scarcely a pasture.
How about taking ro'sh not in the partitive sense (top of mountain), but in the metaphorical (huge rock rising from the plain), as in the european languages "Cape", from Latin caput head? Head of Carmel would then be a poetical version of the prosaic "Mount Carmel" and we can easily imagine meadows in the lower parts.
I want to propose this idea to you as an experienced scientist, while I am quite new in Hebrew.
from Carmel north-east
This is an interesting suggestion. Certainly in English not only "cape" but also "headland" and "head" itself (as in Bream Head) would seem to be direct uses of "head" metaphorically of just such a geographical feature. However, I can find (on a quick look - life is hectic at present, selling our home and B having medical tests etc.) no evidence for this usage in biblical Hebrew.
Does anybody know either of such Hebrew usage, or of such an expression in a related language? If so please let me know!
I am not as convinced by the argument that this makes better sense of the verse in Amos, because (at least in modern times) the Carmel Ridge is quite forested and green. But again does anyone know if this is from modern irrigation or whether it would likely have been green in the Iron Age?
Labels: bible, commentary, geography, hebrew