The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at
Sun Feb 22 04:34:24 EST 2004

Charlie hinted and Sally wheedled:

> (Taking 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' though: to be fair, I've
> heard the Hebrew word can actually be translated differently, as
> Oh for a Hebrew translator! (hint))

Not by any usage that's familiar to me, nor anything I've been able to find
in a dictionary. "Mechashefa lo techayeh" (Exodus) is the Hebrew for  'Thou
shalt not suffer a witch to live' , and "mechashefa" has as far as I know
always meant witch in Hebrew. The witch of Endor on the other hand, was not
called "mehashefa" in Hebrew but "ba'alat ov", a necromancer, if I remember
correctly. Saul goes to her to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel,
which arouses the wrath of the Lord, and his punishment is that both he and
his son Jonathan die in battle and David is made king. But I haven't really
read the books of Samuel since studying them in 8th grade, so don't hold me
to it. Though I must say, some of the best stories in the bible are in
Samuel and early Kings - best as in interesting plots on a human level.

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