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בת (bat)

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by cisarro, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. cisarro Senior Member

    Chilean spanish

    At the Bible, the word בת (bat) is always translated as "daugther", even when the verse is talking about a "grandaughter". Could you say me what does בת (bat) mean, exactly?

    Example, this is a text at Divrei Hayamim Bet (Chapter 11:20):

    כ וְאַחֲרֶיהָ לָקַח, אֶת-מַעֲכָה בַּת-אַבְשָׁלוֹם; וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ, אֶת-אֲבִיָּה וְאֶת-עַתַּי, וְאֶת-זִיזָא, וְאֶת-שְׁלֹמִית

    That verse is always translated as
    "And after her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith". But the only direct daughter of Absalom was Tamar.

    Thank you in advance.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  2. origumi Senior Member

    בת is daughter.

    There are conflicting details in the Bible about מעכה בת אבישלום or מעכה בת אבשלום. Explained nicely in the Hebrew Wikipedia, not so much in the English.

  3. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    בת is often translated as "daughter" but can also mean "grand-daughter" and so forth.

    Genesis 36:12
    אָהֳלִיבָמָה בַת־עֲנָה בַּת־צִבְעֹון

    If you read the narrative, you'll see that Anah was Aholivamah's father, and Tziv'on was Aholivamah's grand-father.
  4. cisarro Senior Member

    Chilean spanish
    Thank you very much for the answers :D
  5. origumi Senior Member

    Aholivama daughter of `ana daughter of Tziv`on.
  6. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Hi Origumi, care to elaborate? You agree that Aholivama is the grand-daughter of Tziv'on, don't you?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  7. origumi Senior Member

    The text says that Aholivama is the daughter of `ana and `ana is the daughter of Tziv`on.

    וְאֵלֶּה הָיוּ בְּנֵי אָהֳלִיבָמָה בַת עֲנָה בַּת צִבְעוֹן

    The sons of Aholivama are grandsons of `ana and grand-grandsons of Tziv`on, and yet בן is son, not grandson, not grand-grandson.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  8. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    I'm afraid that's impossible.

    Ana (עֲנָה) is a male and could not be anyone's daughter.

    See Gen. 36:24:

    ואלה בני־צבעון ואיה וענה הוא ענה אשר מצא את־הימם במדבר ברעתו את־החמרים לצבעון אביו
  9. origumi Senior Member

    Uh ok, `ana is a man according to most (but not all) opinions. Sorry for answering hastily. Nevertheless, בת is a daughter and not grand daughter (AFAIK, unless someone finds a reference that says otherwise).

    The question of ענה בת צבעון is intriguing indeed. In the Samaritan version of the Bible the text says ענה בן גבעון and this is agreed among some Jews: [בן] appears as correction to בת in several Bible editions. Another explanation is that אהליבמה was like a daughter to צבעון because her mother was צבעון's wife and ענה took her after her צבעון has died, as ייבום (wrote שד"ל). Some insist that ענה was a woman (רבנו תם for example).

    You can read here http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_20791_78.pdf an interesting discussion with some farfetched suggestion, for example that צבעון was the biological father of אהליבמה after copulating with ענה's wife, so אהליבמה was daughter of both ענה and צבעון. Another idea is that ענה copulated with his own mother, צבעון's wife, so אהליבמה is ענה's daughter and also a daughter of צבעון's wife thus regarded as a daughter of both.

    I don't know if any of this strange proposal is realistic. One thing is common - none suggests that בת means grand daughter (but I could miss some info of course).
  10. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Does משיח בן דוד mean that המשיח is the actual son of דוד, or just a male descendant? At the least, would you agree that בת can simply mean "female descendant" without being one's actual (immediate) daughter?

    Also if Rabbeinu Tam wishes to think that Ana is a female, then I'd like to know how he reconciles that belief with Gen. 36:24 --- in which the use of verbs conjugated in the masculine-gender (e.g., מצא), and pronominal suffixes declined in the masculine-gender, certainly contradict his opinion. To say Ana is a female after reading Gen. 36:24 is to admit corruption of the Torah. I don't think Rabbeinu Tam would ever admit that.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Origumi. :)
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  11. origumi Senior Member

    When person's genealogy is described in the Bible as X בן/בת of Y, it means son/daughter. Do you have any contradicting example / resource? I described the effort to explain ענה's 'בת' to demonstrates the difficulty, where the possibility of בת = granddaughter is not taken as an option.

    In other contexts בן can mean a male child, a descendant, one with certain traits, specify one's age, and apparently some other things (similarly בת for a female), yet this seems out of context for מעכה בת אבשלום or ענה בן/בת צבעון.
  12. Diadem Senior Member

    USA (English)
    Although it is debated, some say that Atalya was the grand-daughter of Omri (2 Kings 8:26) (and the actual daughter of Ach'av).
  13. origumi Senior Member

    And then again, the traditional commentary takes for granted that בת means daughter and tries to explain the situation under this assumption. For example מצודת דוד:

    "בת עמרי" - ולמעלה (פסוק יח) נאמר שיהורם אביו נשא בת אחאב וידמה שעמרי גדלה ונקראת בתו אף כי בני בנים הם כבנים
  14. cisarro Senior Member

    Chilean spanish
    That's why I made this post. It was not my intention to say that בת = grandaughter instead of daughter, but if בת could mean other things besides daughter according to the context.

    Thank you for all the answers :D

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