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Contrary to the standard lexica, the expression TQ' KP ('to strike hand') does not belong to the semantic field of 'hand-clapping'. Rather, it refers to the act of taking hold of another's hand, usually in the sense of giving a handshake. 2 For a discussion of these various expressions see N. Fox, "Clapping Hands as a Gesture of Anguish and Anger in Mesopotamia and in Israel", JANES 23 (1995) 49-60. Fox argues that MH' and TQ' are used in expressions of triumph, joy and approval, whereas SPQ (i1/PQ) and NKH are used with emotions of anger, anguish or distress (pp. 51, 55). Since this article will only discuss the verb TQ' Fox's thesis cannot be examined in detail. A very diverent understanding of the syntagm is proposed here, however. 3 Prov. vi 1 is the only case in which KP occurs in the plural and has a pronominal suyx (but compare Job xvii 3, note 5 below). The plural form in this case is suspect; see BHS. In Biblical Hebrew there are other expressions involving parts of the body which vary in the use or non-use of pronominal suyxes without a discernible diverence in meaning. Compare Gen. xxxvii 22 Iwyd 'l-tšlkw-bw'and do not stretch out a hand against him' with 1 Sam. xxiv 11 IP-'šlk ydy b'dny 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord'. See W. Th. van Peursen, The Verbal System in the Hebrew Text of Ben Sira (1999 Ph.D. diss., Leiden University), pp. 49v. 4 Compare also Prov. xi 15 'He will suver hurt, for he acted as surety for a stranger; but he who hates tq'ym is secure'. It is uncertain whether tq'ym is a participle or an abstract noun (e.g. 'Bürgschaft'). For the former view see e.g. E. König, Historisch-Comparative Syntax der hebräischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1897), § 244 b ; for the latter see F. Böttcher, Ausführliches Lehrbuch der hebräischen Sprache, vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1866), § 700, and G. R. Driver, "Problems in the Hebrew Text of Proverbs", Bib 32 (1951), p. 196. 5 So e.g. L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Hebräisches und aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament (Leiden, 3rd ed. 1990), p. 1643a; W. Gesenius and F. Buhl, Hebräisches und aramäisches Handwörterbuch über das Alte Testament (Leipzig, 17th ed. 1921), p. 888b; Fox (op. cit., p. 54 n. 22). In Job xvii 3 we find the niphal of the verb, but with YD rather than KP (my hw" lydy ytq'). There is some discussion over the text and interpretation of this verse (see the commentaries). I think it most likely that the verb is reflexive ('mit Handschlag sich verbürgen'; see Koehler-Baumgartner op. cit., p. 1643b; and Gesenius-Buhl; [ibid];) and that lydy indicates the hand of the one for whom the pledge is being made (so e.g. F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Book of Job, tr. F. Bolton;Grand Rapids, 1985 reprint, pp. 295f.).

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University


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