Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Legends of Gath #50; Hey, baldy!

I'm glad installment 50 landed on one of my all time favorite verses. It's just so...odd. And oddly specific. Why two bears? (In one translation it's she bears.) Why 42 mauling victims? Baldy? As with many stories from La Biblia, it's likely not to be taken by the reader literally, but it does make me laugh at face value. In the Old Testament you ever knew when some salty prophet was going to order bears or lions to maul you. It kept the people on their toes, I guess. 

10 comments:

  1. "Hey, how many bears did you call down from the woods? TWO? TWO?! Waddya do, whisper?! Back in the day we'd call down bears and deer and badgers and foxes and plants and old trunks and pinecones and fir needles and more badgers and snails and ants and..."

    I'd include two Chicago Bears caps in the loot...

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    1. I had no idea bears even lived in Judea back in the day. Honestly, I know very little about the wildlife there, so rabid snails would be fine by me as I have no clue if that is realistic or not. A hail of pine cones would be a nice touch, too. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. It's a nice milestone. I think I am going to take a break for a while, though. Those shootings last night in Kenosha...Dear Lord...Gath is unfolding before our eyes. I think I need some fantasy styling these days.

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    2. Your fantasy work is appreciated as well! I think I'll combine what you do with Matt's stuff!

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  3. Bible translations are pretty odd. Makes you wonder what some of those old guys were smokin'. KJV here (why do some say "she bears" and some say"two", also why do some say "children" and others say 'boys'???):
    23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

    24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

    Maybe we should start a Saturday Gaming Bible study group?

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    1. It's interesting, too, when some scholars interpret children and boys as to mean immature, child-like adults. There must be some numerical significance to 42. Tomorrow night is Shabbat. I'll ask the rabbi. "So rabbi, over in Gath some mutant punks were running their mouths when all of a sudden, out of the Wasteland roars this enraged she bear..."

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    2. I took a class in University on translations from ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew and how they can drastically change the meaning of the stories. Words can be translated as one thing, but also translated as something similar but different. Even the Greek and Hebrew versions can have subtle differences from the originals depending on how you translate a few words. Why one translation is used instead of another often has to do with other things in the culture at the time of the translation.

      Who knows, perhaps a "she bear" isn't just a female bear but rather a woman bear like in the old Italian Fairy Tale... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_She-bear

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    3. Reading the Old Testament with the help of study guides has been very helpful. There's a lot of things one comes across that really sounds wonky until you get the linguistic and cultural background. She bears, for example. :)

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