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אָבֹות אָכְלוּ בֹסֶר וְשִׁנֵּי בָנִים תִּקְהֶֽינָה

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by seitt, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    I quote from ירמיה:
    בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם לֹא־יֹאמְר֣וּ עֹ֔וד אָבֹ֖ות אָ֣כְלוּ בֹ֑סֶר וְשִׁנֵּ֥י בָנִ֖ים תִּקְהֶֽינָה׃
    כִּ֛י אִם־אִ֥ישׁ בַּעֲוֹנֹ֖ו יָמ֑וּת כָּל־הָֽאָדָ֛ם הָאֹכֵ֥ל הַבֹּ֖סֶר תִּקְהֶ֥ינָה שִׁנָּֽיו׃
    (31:29 & 30)

    I am interested in this saying (do you still use it today?):
    אָבֹ֖ות אָ֣כְלוּ בֹ֑סֶר וְשִׁנֵּ֥י בָנִ֖ים תִּקְהֶֽינָה

    Literally, I think, "Fathers ate sour grapes and the teeth of the sons (children) are blunted."

    But why do so many versions of the Bible translate it as "the teeth of the children are set on edge"? This is completely different! Is this what you say in Modern Hebrew to express the effect of eating sour grapes (and persimmons) on the mouth?


  2. anipo Senior Member

    Spanish (Arg)- German
    You still use it when something bad that parents did affects their child. Or the bad deeds of one generation on the next one. But it is certainly high record.
    It is not used to describe the effect on your teeth from eating something sour.
    As for the translations, I really don't know.
    All the best.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  3. Tararam Senior Member

    "Boser" is every fruit who hasn't matured yet and thus, isn't edible.
    We use this expression to portray the idea of children having to pay for the sins of their parents (literally: the parents ate unripe fruit and their sons' teeth lost their sharpness.)
    The classic example of this expression is when a parent dies and leaves his financial troubles to his children.
    We don't use this phrase to express the actual effect of premature fruit on the mouth.

    I guess this is one example of the differences in the Hebrew bible and the English bible.
    At the end of the day, they mean the same thing. Both portray the image of children burdened by their parents' actions.
    The first one is figurative using "blunted teeth" to show the effect, and the second uses the phrase "set teeth on edge" which means "nervous/not at ease", which is the feeling caused by the effect.
  4. origumi Senior Member

    I agree with this. English set on edge is an interpretation or exegesis rather than translation of the Hebrew source.
  5. seitt Senior Member

    Many thanks - just for the sake of contrast, could you please let me know what you say in Hebrew for the mouth's reaction to eating something astringent, whether sour grapes or persimmon or whatever?
  6. ystab Senior Member

    עפיצות is astringency, i.e. the sensation after eating foods that contain tannins.
  7. seitt Senior Member

    Much obliged!

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