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Some Aspects of Biblical Punning

Some Aspects of Biblical Punning by Nahum M. Waldman Nahum M. Waldman is Professor of Bible at Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA. He is the author of 1be Recent Study of Hebrew (Cincinnati and Winona lake, IN: 1989) and numerous articles in Semitics and ]udaica. Introduction In this paper I wish to concentrate upon a well-known literary device, the pun, where words of similar sound but of different meanings occur. Various types of puns will be distinguished. I am also interested in how the themes of the pun relate to the primary motifs of the text. Since the pun is, partly, a study of sounds, there are punning passages where other patterns of sound, assonance, and alliteration appear and cannot be ignored. I will also take note, when appropriate, of another device: chiastic structures in a punning cont~xt, where one finds the A:B::B':A' pattern in a single verse or an extended passage. l These devices appear together in many passages and enhance the meaning of the text. It should, however, 'be remembered that not all biblical passages display these literary devices in the same measure or even at all. Perhaps a goal for future study is a "unified theory" of the relationship between http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

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Purdue University Press
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Copyright © Purdue University.
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1534-5165
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Abstract

by Nahum M. Waldman Nahum M. Waldman is Professor of Bible at Gratz College, Melrose Park, PA. He is the author of 1be Recent Study of Hebrew (Cincinnati and Winona lake, IN: 1989) and numerous articles in Semitics and ]udaica. Introduction In this paper I wish to concentrate upon a well-known literary device, the pun, where words of similar sound but of different meanings occur. Various types of puns will be distinguished. I am also interested in how the themes of the pun relate to the primary motifs of the text. Since the pun is, partly, a study of sounds, there are punning passages where other patterns of sound, assonance, and alliteration appear and cannot be ignored. I will also take note, when appropriate, of another device: chiastic structures in a punning cont~xt, where one finds the A:B::B':A' pattern in a single verse or an extended passage. l These devices appear together in many passages and enhance the meaning of the text. It should, however, 'be remembered that not all biblical passages display these literary devices in the same measure or even at all. Perhaps a goal for future study is a "unified theory" of the relationship between

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Oct 3, 1996

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