When Rashi uses, what we may losely call, the hononym method, Rashi
does not explain new meaning but rather shows an underlying unity in disparate
meanings. Rashi will frequently do this by showing an underlying unity in
the varied meanings of a Biblical root.
In my article
Peshat and Derash found on the world wide web at
I advocate enriching the Rashi explanation
using a technique of parallel nifty translations in modern English. Today's examples
The Hebrew root Yud-Resh-Dalet means both
to fall and to conquer. The relation of these
two meanings should be clear. When you beat a person up
they typically fall to the ground. Similarly when you defeat
or destroy a city its buildings typically are felled to the gound.
We apply the above to verse Dt20-20a.
If we translated Yud-Resh-Dalet as meaning fall then we would translate
the verse as follows:
Only the trees which you know are not trees for food, you shall destroy and cut them down; and you shall build siege works against the city that makes war with you, until it has fallen.
Already the Davka translation of this verse which I frequently use
in this email list translates the Hebrew root Yud-Resh-Dalet as meaning
Only the trees which you know are not trees for food, you shall destroy and cut them down; and you shall build siege works against the city that makes war with you, until it is subdued.
Conquered could be an alternate translation,