(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 00:13:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel < email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Names
Eli Linas in Bais Medrash Volume 2 Number 22 cites about half a dozen
opinions for the meaning of the word YNON in Psalms 72:17: (a) ENDURE
(b)PERPETUATED (c) KINGSHIP-EXALTED (Rashi) (d) Remembered (like a
Nun=chlid) (Radack, Ibn Ezra Malbim)
I agree with Eli that Biblical interpretation should START with a review of
commentaries. Eli also did a nice job of literally translating the
However I believe that as a second step to Biblical interpretation we
should seek reasons for interpretations and unifying reasons. In this
particular case we should note that all 3 Rishonim--Rashi, Radack and Ibn
Ezra--hold that the root is NUN which means grandchild. Following this the
best translation would be "May his name be publicly childed"
In making this translation I have interpreted "Before the sun" as meaning
publicly (This is more a matter of style than translation--it can be
supported by the repeated usage of the phrase "under the sun" in Kohelet
where it means PUBLICLY).
As to the coined world "childed" recall that all Kings have their names
mentioned be they Assad Sadam or the Messiah. But a good king's name when
mentioned is done (a) publicly (b) affectionately (like a "child") while a
bad king's name when mentioned causes anxiety. Thus the Psalmist was simply
coining a term to mean affectionately (or with positive emotion). Hence we
can summarize this with the translation "May his name be childed".
Now that we have this translation we can review and appreciate the 3
Rishonim: Rashi says "may his name be exalted--from NIN which means CHILD"
Thus the idea "his name is childed" is consistent with Rashi. Ibn Ezra says
May his name Flower and Multiply which is consistent with the idea of
mentioning the kings name the same way we mention a child's
name. Clearly this is also consistent with the Radacks "May he be
remembered for his good deeds".
The reason I have chosen to translate "May his name be childed" rather than
use the words used by the rishonim--"exalted, remembered, multiply, flower"
is because I want to also capture the flavor of the verse--the verse coined
a term--it did not use a known term. Therefore a good translation should
capture the evocative flavor of the coined term.
Russell Jay Hendel; firstname.lastname@example.org
Moderator Rashi is SImple