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Body

The concept of body in the Old Testament The Old Testament uses various names for parts and organs of the body to signify the physical, temporal, spatial and tactual aspect of man. Many of these are used in a complex system of parallel poetic structures where the actual use of the word depends on its “A” or “B” characteristic and its extended meaning. (M. Held, “Additional pairs of words in Synonymous Parallelism in Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic,” Leshonenu [1953], 144-160, in Hebrew) In the English [[VSS]] some ten Hebrew words are loosely translated “body.” In most cases this is incorrect. The terms are: 2. בֶּ֫טֶן, H1061, an ancient Western Semitic word attested in Amarna Letter 232:10, “ina bantê (glossed) baṭnūma, “on my belly.” M. Held has proven Akkad. bāntu, “rib cage” to be equivalent to Ugaritic-Canaanite, baṭnu (Studies in Comparative Semitic Lexicography [1965], 406). It is used often in the Old Testament as a euphemism or substitute for the generative organs (Exod 28: