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7

tive. Again, it is the same idiomatic use of N which springs to the lips in those times of crisis when one is brought face to face with the issues of life and death in their most urgent form..." (p. 18) Johnson, therefore, did notice that an intensity was associated with N as a personal pronoun. However, the intensity characteristic of N also colours other times N is used. For example, the stranger's status in Israel suggested a certain intensity to the ancient Hebrew. His basic need for food sustenance and safe keeping were not met until the Hebrews received him hospitably.

    Pedersen commented on the 'feelings' of the stranger more accurately than Johnson, but he too did not make any reference to the fact that being in the position of vitally needing hospitality was peculiar to N. Pedersen began with primitive man's view of soul and understood the Hebrew view accordingly. The all-pervasive soul as totality governed his understanding of N, ruah (breath-wind-spirit) , and leb (heart). The terms "suggested different nuances to soul but nonetheless have a greater likeness than difference". (p. 102) Though he did see differences between the terms (see p. 102-107, 145ff.) and did want "to examine what the psychic term mean in their context" (p. 99), Pedersen's concept of soul, more primitive than Platonic, shaped his interpretation of N. Johnson, while appreciative of Pedersen's masterpiece, appears to have supported this criticism for he commented that Pedersen and those that followed him (Becker, Murtonen, Lys) had a questionable use of the word 'soul'. (p. 3, n. 4)

    Wolff translated the passage in question with 'soul' of a stranger. "This is the place where we could translate N by 'soul' for the first time. For the writer is thinking not only of the stranger's needs and desires but of the whole range of his feelings, arising from the alien land and the danger of oppression in his state of dependence." (p. 17) Here Wolff further demonstrated his sense of the theme of danger and deliverance. However, assuming the original German edition uses seele in cases where the English translation has 'soul', Wolff also demonstrated that he used the term without being clear about the definition he employed for soul.

    The stranger was not the only one whose status was peculiar to N. Prov. 12:10 reads, "A righteous man has regard for the N of his beast." The beast and the stranger were both viewed to be dependent upon care from another just as mankind, as N, was dependent upon the care that God expressed through His acts. Slaves were subject to their master for safe keeping and were thereby termed N as well. Lev. 22:11 reads, "if a priest buys a N as his property for money, the slave may eat of a holy thing." Jer. 34:16 records that slaves “set free according to their N desire" were again brought into subjection.

    N was subject to more than just danger in the form of others seeking one's N. Being a creature made from dust, N was vitally dependent upon nourishment and sustenance in the form of basic provisions such as food, water, and air. Not only did N face the threat of peril at the hand of another, N could go hungry and thirsty and even starve. Several OT passages picture N lacking or receiving daily sustenance. During Passover, the Hebrew could eat only according to his status as N. "No work shall be done on those days but what every N must eat, that only may be prepared by you." (Ex. 12:16) During this week the Hebrews were mindful about a basic fact of existence -- they were indeed N. Furthermore, to eat as N was to eat 'before God' knowing that He had concretely provided and thus sustained in a world where N needed to eat -- or else! A N that did not eat would perish since it was through bread though not bread alone that N was sustained.

    Here too, an emotional aspect is connected to N, only this time it is feelings of hunger, thirst, and suffocation. As one might now expect of the synthetic thinking that typified the Hebrews, these feelings were applicable to N only if they participated in an experience that reflected the status of a N creature. Hunger, thirst, and suffocation could occur in the context of a yearning which N experienced while waiting for God's deliverance in the form of food, water, and air.

    The righteous person was nourished through food that God provided, but the wicked remained unsatisfied. "The righteous has enough to satisfy his N, but the belly of the wicked suffers want." (Prov. 13:25) The Preacher warned, "Apart from God who can eat or who can have enjoyment. There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and his N find enjoyment in them all." (Eccles. 2:24-25) "All the toil of man is for his mouth yet his N is not satisfied." (Eccles. 6:7) Jeremiah lamented the state of Jerusalem. "All her people groan as they search for bread; they trade their treasures for food to revive their N." (Lam. 1:11) The Israelites grumbled while in the wilderness because they no longer had meat as they had had in Egypt. "But now our N is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at." (Num. 11:6) Therefore, "The anger of the Lord blazed hotly" (v. 10) because the people were not satisfied with His method of providing nourishment for N.

    Fasting had implications for how the Hebrews were treating themselves as N creatures. To not eat was to purposefully cut off nourishment that N always needed. To 'afflict N' in this manner meant the Hebrews were abstaining from the very thing upon which N was critically dependent. For the day of atonement the Israelites were commanded to "afflict their N and do no work". (Lev. 16:29) They abstained from food to demonstrate that N was dependent upon their God for sustenance. Quite appropriately, they were asked to fast on the day of atonement because it was N that was atoned for through the shedding of blood and it was the providential God that sustained N despite the sin of N. Becoming clean despite sin through the ritual of atonement was of life and death importance to the Hebrews. "Whoever [N] is not afflicted on this same day shall be cut off from his peoples. And whoever does any work on this same day, that N I will destroy from among his people." (Lev. 23:29-30) Perhaps the people were so involved in the events of this day that they actually lost their appetite. A N that took the day of atonement seriously may not have felt like eating and may have experienced, consequently, a natural affliction of N. Unfortunately, only one verse in the Revised Standard Version connects afflicting and fasting. "I afflicted myself [N] with fasting." (Ps. 35:13) Even in this instance the English is unable to relate either afflicting or fasting to the significance that N had for the ancient Israelites.

    The theme of danger and deliverance with respect to basic nourishment as well as life perils can now aid one toward grasping the relation that N had to the throat, neck, breath, and blood.

   Throat, neck, and breath all participated in imagery regarding vital nourishment and sustenance that N needed. While it is true that 'throat' and 'neck' are probably the best English equivalents for N in some instances, N was not really synonymous with the throat or neck. For translation purposes N may denote the throat or neck on occasion, but this is not to suggest that today's understanding of throat or neck communicates the full meaning of N in these instances. Denoting N as throat without involving the need for vital nourishment fails to reveal the synthetic 'mind' of the Hebrews. The throat was only the organ that served as a vehicle for N sustenance. N and the organ through which it was nourished are not to be viewed as synonymous.  

    Though Wolff was perhaps too concerned with finding the precise anatornical organ which N denoted in a given passage, his continued sensitivity to the theme of 'Needy Man' is evident in the following paragraph. 

In its very function as the organ that feels hunger and thirst N is also the seat of the sense of taste (Prov. 27:7): 

    A sated N stamps on honey with his feet,
but to a hungry N everything bitter is sweet.
The hungry N (v. 7b) that tastes everything bitter as sweet is of course the throat, with which the root of the tongue and the palate are associated as organs of taste. But it is not the throat (v. 7a) that 'stamps'; it is the man whose behaviour is determined by the throat's satiety. The parallelism of the satisfied and the hungry N (which ismade possible by synthetic thinking) must be differentiated in translation because of the differing statements: 'the sated man' must be set over against the 'hungry throat'(Prov.16:24):
    Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
         sweetness to the N and healing to the  body.
N side by side with the body and with the experience of sweetness is again designed to point clearly to the organ of taste, and yet in the simile for the 'pleasant words' the needy man as a whole is clearly envisaged, with the hint at his sensitivity and vulnerability. (p. 12)


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