In response to my post “As Dawn Spread Over the Mountains” Itzhak Shapira posted a comment in an attempt to defend his original rendition of the Metzudat David. Here is my response to Shapira.
I have twice pointed out to you and to the public that you have mistranslated Joel 2:2 IN THE CONTEXT of the comment of the Metzudat David. In your video you quoted my first review but you labeled this objection as the “first one” and it is in my second review that this objection appears first (in my first review this objection is # 68). It is for this reason that I took the liberty of presenting the words from my second review. It is obvious to one and all (except perhaps to you) that in my second review I was elucidating the same objection that I had presented in my first review.
Nothing that you have said or written mitigates what I have written in either of my reviews. It is plain for all to see that in the context of misrepresenting the Metzudat David you have mistranslated a verse from the Bible. You have demonstrated to the public that you are incapable of understanding the simple words of Metzudat David.
In your defense you could have told the public that you made a mistake and you took the JPS translation and inserted it into the Metzudat David even though it is obvious that the Metzudat David was not following the JPS translation.
No, you couldn’t do that.
Instead you tried to defend yourself. In the process you tell the audience that you gave them a literal translation of the Metzudat David. What audacity!
Let’s do this word for word. (These are the Hebrew words of the Metzudat David followed by Shapira’s translation.)
Biz’richata – During the sunrise of the sun of righteousness
Yiheye – there will be
Lachem – ?
Refua – healing
V’taanug – and delight
V’dima – that will resemble
P’risat – ?
Ha’or – ?
Uz’richata – ?
Li’prisat – the spreading
K’nafayim – of wings
Ki – ?
Hashmesh – ?
Yifros – ?
Oro – ?
Al – ?
Ki’knafayim – ?
Ha’prusot – ?
V’chen – as it is
Ne’enmar – written
K’shachar – as blackness
Parus – spread
Al – over
He’harim – the mountains
So you fail to translate 12 out of 25 words and you call that a “literal” translation? And then you tell your audience that what I have done is “criminal”?
For those who cannot read Hebrew, the two phrases that Shapira has not translated read as follows: “the spreading of light and its shine,” and: “for the sun spreads its light over the earth like outspread wings.”
The entire point of the Metzudat David is that the metaphor of the sun spreading its wings that is found in Malachi is also found in Joel where it speaks of the dawn spreading over the mountains. To translate Joel 2:2 as if it spoke of blackness spreading over the mountains IN THE CONTEXT of the Metzudat David is to miss the entire point of the Metzudat David.
In your second attempt to defend yourself you put words in my mouth and then you attack those words. I never said that shachar has “nothing to do with blackness.” The fact that you spend your time refuting words I never said demonstrates that you have no response for the words that I did say.
What do YOU think the Metzudat David was trying to teach us when he compared Joel 2:2 to Malachi 3:20?
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal