The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
Dahood’s rendering of Proverb 30:16 is confusing and downright dumb.
He has: “Sheol who is broad of bosom, The earth never sated with water, Fire which never says, ‘Enough.’1
Dahood presents arguments for interpreting the vav before ‘otser (barren) as a vav explicativum, which he explains “would signify, “Sheol, truly broad of bosom.”2 First of all, it would not mean that even if this was a vav explicativum. The word for womb is raxam, which means womb, or mercy when used figuratively, but never bosom! How Dahood came up with that is anyone’s guess. Likewise ‘otser does not have anything to do with breadth. It comes from a root that means to restrain or shut up. A womb that is shut up is barren. The word vav very clearly means “and” in this verse and could not possibly be a waw explicativum (a fancy way of saying the vav is used to introduce an attached modifier), which will be made clear below. In other words Dahood completely misread three words in a row! Maybe Dahood was dipping into the sacramental wine when he wrote this nonsensical dibble, or maybe drugs were involved. One can only speculate.
Dismissing this rendering with a grammatical discussion is simple enough, but it does not require one, nor does it require any comparison of passages; we simply have to put the verse into context by reading the verse that precedes it. Note that it does say that there are three things that are never satisfied, and four that never say, it is enough. It seems to have eluded Dahood that the mention of three things, followed by the addition of one more to make four, is only a poetic convention, or a way of emphasizing. There are several other examples of this in the same chapter of Proverbs. There are, quite clearly, four things that follow. Four things are then listed in the King James Bible. Dahood’s rendering has only three. Maybe he needed to pay more attention to Big Bird and his friends, because all this wacky Jesuit had to do to know that he was on the wrong track was to count!
1 Dahood, Proverbs, p. 59.
John Hinton, Ph.D.
Bible Restoration Ministry
A ministry seeking the translating and reprinting of KJV equivalent
Bibles in all the languages of the world.