victim, sacrifice

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by ahaji2002, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. ahaji2002 New Member


    We use the word 'korban' in Indonesian to denote:
    (1) victim as in victim of accident, victim of crime, victim of natural disaster etc.
    (2) as part of offering, sacrifice as in 'sacrifice' during Ied Al-Adha, the hero did sacrifice himself to protect the kid.

    The word 'korban' is adopted from the Semitic language and most likely Hebrew.

    We don't understand why one word 'korban' can have two different meaning. We understand that 'korban' comes from a meaning of 'being closed or getting closed', and hence offering or sacrifice does make sense. But, what about 'being a victim'?

    My questions are:
    a. What's the Hebrew word for victim as in victim of crime?
    b. What's the Hebrew word for sacrifce as in sacrificing animal for the offering?

    Interestingly, in Saudi, they use the word "da-he-yah", but not "qurban" or "korban", which may be similar to "zevah" in Hebrew.

    Thank you.

  2. shaliach Senior Member

    English - USAקרבן
  3. origumi Senior Member

    The meaning in Hebrew is exactly as you describe for Indonesian, both (1) and (2).

    Arabic sounds like a more likely origin, I guess that for languages where q = k, korban (modern Hebrew), qorban (biblical Hebrew), qurban (Arabic) - sound almost the same.
  4. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    The Arabic ضحية is not related to זבח. The only common letter here is ح\ח, if anything it's related to the Hebrew צח which means "clean".
  5. arielipi Senior Member

    Thats just the way it is in hebrew, words have many meanings because of its density.
  6. Tararam Senior Member

    That's stretching it a bit, but a sacrifice which is usually an animal (there's evidence of human sacrifice in the bible, but it's disputed) is offered and killed (hurt) against his will. You can see how that connects with being a victim of a crime.

    From a quick search online, the English "victim" comes from the Latin "victima" which actually means "an animal or a human being offered as sacrifice".
    "Sacrifice" is also Latin for "performing priestly functions/sacrifices". It's constructed of "sacer" (as in "sacred") + facere ("to do").
    So it seems that both words come from the same idea, not only in Hebrew.
  7. ahaji2002 New Member

    Thanks all for the response.

    And regarding the explaination on how "korban" can mean victim, it does make sense, as "korban" has root of "being close" which is somehow related to "act to sacrifice" to get close, and doing sacrifice, an animal is needed and it is the result of situation not at animal's will, and the animal is the victim. But, as I found in the internet, the animal for sacrifice is called "zevah". Hence, my opinion, you don't call "zevah" for victim as it may refer to animal. And there is dynamic in the laguage, to use "korban" for victim for human that suffers or be maltreated not at his will.

    Language is always interesting. It repesents the snapshot of human history.

  8. origumi Senior Member

    In some Semitic languages variants of q-r-b mean to pray, worship. So the evolution can be like: get close -> get close to God -> worship -> pray / sacrifice.
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    Not to mention (if wasnt already) q-r-v is to get close (either yourself, or someone else to someone)

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