A Forque in the Road

Jeremiah 50:2:

“Declare ye among the nations and announce, and set up a standard…”

The translation is from JPS.

The Hebrew word for “standard” here is נס (nes).

The English word “standard” is being used here in a manner that is not up to date with today’s spoken American English, so some definition is in order. (You might say it’s a “non-standard” usage. See what I did there?)

Here, “standard” means “an object that is supported in an upright position, in particular: a military or ceremonial flag carried on a pole or hoisted on a rope” (Google).

Rashi translates nes as פורק”א, and describes it as “a sign for gathering.” What is this word?

Guessing “forque” as a transliteration, I searched that in Google and found, according to Wiktionary, that “forque” was indeed an Old Northern French word derived from the Latin “furca” meaning “gallows, beam, stake, support post, yoke.” It could also mean “pitchfork” or “forked stake,” and is the origin of the English “fork.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s