Wednesday, November 30, 2016

(From) the Fats of the Land

The ברכה to יעקב begins ויתן לך האלהים מטל השמים ומשמני הארץ כ"ז:כ"ח. One might be tempted to translate the last phrase as "from the fats of the land," with the מ"ם as a prefix meaning "from." However, if that were the case, there should be a דגש in the שי"ן. But there is not. It therefore seems to be that the מ"ם is in fact part of the word - משמן. The same would apply in עשו's ברכה in פסוק ל"ט although it is harder to understand in context there.

Anonymous MG said...
The Minchas Shai brings down old manuscripts that in fact did have a dagesh in the shin, then dismisses these versions. He quotes the Eben Ezra and the Radak who both say that the "מ" of "מטל" applies to both words, implying that the "מ" of "משמני" is not one of שימוש. Then he quotes the Chizkuni who seems to imply that the "מ" is indeed a שימוש here.
עיין שם.
November 22, 2009 9:31 PM


Shtikler said...

Now that you mention it, I remember seeing the מנחת שי when I was first investigating this (probably over a decade ago.)

The only issue I have with אבן עזרא and רד"ק is how do we then understand עשו's ברכה? He gave יעקב "from" משמני הארץ but then he basically grants all of it to עשו as a dwelling? I'm probably just not understanding exactly what עשו's ברכה was.

Moshe said...

R. Ze'ev Heidenheim in his sefer מודע לבינה has an explanation of this word in posuk 39.

ba said...

Rashi to 26:26 says something similar.