כמו הגה (Psalm 90:9)

Gabbleratchet

New Member
English - USA
Psalm 90:9: כִּי כָל־יָמֵינוּ פָּנוּ בְעֶבְרָתֶךָ כִּלִּינוּ שָׁנֵינוּ כְמֹו־הֶגֶה׃

kemô hægæh is variously rendered. Coverdale and JPS1917 have "as a tale that is told"; JPS1972 and NRSV have "like a sigh"; others have "like a fleeting thought", "like a meditation", &c. There is still a broad similarity in all these. But both the LXX and the Pešīṭṭa have 'like a spider' or 'like a cobweb' (ὡς ἀράχνην, ayk gwagay). So I wonder if this forum can come up with an explanation of this understanding by ancient translators of the Hebrew word. I suppose if we treat weak consonants as fungible hægæh and gwagay are similar, but that is all I can think of and I am not satisfied with it.
 
  • slus

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    I see no reason whatsoever to translate הגה as spider. Could be a typo, a similar word in Greek, maybe?
    In modern Hebrew הגה is a sound or a word, from להגות, but a fleeting thought is also understood, from הגיג.
    Spider does not even make sense in context.
    Just to be sure, I looked it up, and all I found was other people wondering about the spider.

    https://www.929.org.il/page/657/post/15655
     

    JoMe

    Member
    Hebrew
    I don't think anyone ever managed to explain convincingly the presence of spider in LXX Psalms 90:9.
    Some proposed that archane is (part of?) a of side-note, outside the text.
    Other proposed that הגה should read גוגה, a Syriac word for spider (that may have existed in Hebrew, but never attested).
    See for example this article (click "PDF" there), including the referenced sources in its footnotes 2, 3.
     
    Last edited:

    JoMe

    Member
    Hebrew
    I read another explanation, in parts according to the Vilna Gaon, הגאון מוילנה. He suggests that הגה in Psalms 90:9 is related to הגיון "higayon" of Psalms 92:4 (92:3 in translations) which says עֲ‍לֵי עָשׂוֹר וַעֲלֵי נָבֶל עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר, "to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre". The meaning of this "higayon" is also unclear (likely to be derived from the same root הגה). Dictionaries say it means resounding music (therefore "melody" in the translation above), but in 92:4 it may be "playing the harp/lyre's strings", which could be an ancient (lost) simile to the spider web.
     
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