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By Isaac Mozeson

OXYMORONS Are Not Stupid Bull


There are no moronic oxen involved when a language has exquisitely designed antonyms using the same letters.

To the Western mind, such words are confusing accidents. But the Eastern and Mideastern mind (especially the Hebrew Bible) sees paradox when a Westerner sees contradiction.

The brain inverts images seen by the eye. We perceive things in a fuller way when we have two eyes proving a blended image. We know light only because we know darkness. Only the lonely and those aquainted with the night, can more intensely feel love and life.
Contrary to theories about words evolving for semantic clarity, as mere signals to indicate subjective meanings, Edenic has many oxymoronic couples of remarkable similarity.

We are now not looking at designed antonym pairs using anatomical letter shifts, or the three kinds of scrambling metathesis.

These are examples of what the sages called דבר והיפוכו (the thing and its opposite). These most non-human, paradoxical words include:

אזרח EZRa[K]H is a citizen, native (Leviticus 16:29). An alien or stranger is a זר ZahR (Leviticus 22:13). זר Zayin-Resh is the core of these built-in opposites

אפס APHai$: The פ-ס Pey-Samekh opposite of אפס APHai$, running out of something, like money in Genesis 47:15, is the abundance of פסה Pee$aH , like the corn in Psalms 72:16.
ברח BaRaK[H] is to flee (Genesis 31:22). בריח BaReeYaK[H] is a fugitive. The built-in opposite of all this breaking out and escaping is בריח BaReeYa[H]K, a bar or bolt to prevent escape . The opposite of בר BahR as obstruction is seen in terms like בר BahR (open field, suburb -- see BARRIO) and ברור BaROOR (clear – see BARE ).

גרף GaRaF means both to sweep away and to gather – see “PURGE”

חלץ [K]HaLahTS is to gird (also Syriac). Its built-in opposite is the identical חלץ [K]HaLahTS ,to draw off, withdraw, to loosen – see LOOSE. טמום DTaMOOM means stupid or senseless; טמטם DTiMDTaiM is to make stupid; נטמה NiDTMaH (Job 18:3) is to be stupid. טעם DTa’[A]hM ("wise"- Proverbs 26:16) is a like-sounding antonym.

מלך MeLeKH (king) is the Go-Maker. He makes people LaiKH (go!).
A מלאך Mal'AKH (angel) is an agent, who is told to "go." מסך Ma$ahKH is to mix (Proverbs 9:2). See MIX. Paradoxically, the same מסך Ma$ahKH means curtain, screen (see MASK); that which separates space, and prevents areas from mixing.

נחם NaK[H]ahM means both to grieve, regret and to be comforted, consoled. Both dwelling on the past, and moving forward. – see AMITY

נכר NeeKahR means to be recognized, but also NeeKaiR is to treat as a stranger— Genesis 42:7 -- see MARK).

נצח NeeTSayaK[H] means both to beat and to be beaten – see SANGRIA

Samekh-Pey, סוף $OAF (end) and הוסיף HOA$eeYF (to add) – see PHASE OUT

עד Ayin-Dalet, עד [A]hD is eternity (infinite) –see ETERNAL or it means until, up to a certain point (finite). Similarly, עןד [O]aWD (further, still) is the opposite of finiteness -- see ADD.

עולם [O]aWLaM is This World , our visible reality (Ecclesiastes 3:11) where the spiritual reality of our Creator is עלם [A]LahM (hidden -- Leviticus 4:3). עור [ O]WR (our sensitive skin) is the source of AWARE, see CORIUM and ORIENTATION. Read slightly differently, Ayin-Vav-Resh also provides the opposite of awareness -- blindness. See “UMBRELLA.” עזב[A]ZahBH means both to leave and forsake (Genesis 39:13), and to strengthen, fortify and build up(Nehemiah 3:8).

ערבה [A]RaBHaH means both a dry desert (whence Arab) and a willow tree (that grows near water) – see ARBOR

ר-פ Resh-Phey words are for both healing and ill health: רפא RaPHAh is to heal
or cure (Exodus 15:2),. רפות RiPHOOT is health in Proverbs 3:8. רופא ROAPHAy is a doctor. תרופהT’ROOPHaH, treatment [THERAPY] is the opposite of תורפה TOORPaH (weakness - see TORPID); רפהRaPHAh is weak (Jeremiah 49:24) and רפיון RiPYOAN is weakness (Jeremiah 47:3).
שבות SH’BHOOT means both captivity and repariation -- see SABBATICAL שחר Shin-Het-Resh, SHaK[H]oaR means dark or black, and SHaKHahR means light or dawn -- see “SWARTHY”

שנה Shin-Noon-Hey means both to change and to repeat – see CHANGE”

Conventional Hebraicists who believe that Hebrew “grew” or evolved only with semantics or human usage have long noted, and have made peace with a few oxymoronic pairs that make sense in context. Like having the identical letters of a word mean both “root” and “to uproot.” But the list is longer than they know, and identically spelled words which mean something AND ITS OPPOSITE does not reflect a human coinage for unambiguous communication, but the non-human design of an intelligence subtle enough to reflect the paradoxical aspects of things.

גרם GaRaM as bone, and to crush bone

חסד [K]He$eD is grace (II Samuel 9:3)
חסד [K]HaSahD is disgrace (Leviticus 20:17).

מלח MaLa[K]H means to rub small, to reduce to dust (Harkavy –Isaiah 51:6), but also מלח Mala[K]H is the noun and verb of salt or salting, a preservative which prevents organic material from breaking down (Exodus 30:35). See MILL.

סעיף $a’e[E]F is a branch, and $ay[A]aiF is to lop of branches (see PHASE OUT

מוש MOOSH can mean touch or feel (see MASSAGE at MASS), and
the opposite, to withdraw (see MISS) – סקל $aQahL is to stone, and סקל $eeKail is to clear of stones
עצם [E]TSeM is a bone, and [E]eTSaiM is to break bone
ערף [O]ReF is the neck, and [A]RahF is to break the neck (see SCRUFF)

שד SHahD is a nurturing breast or teat (Lamentations 4:3), and the name of the deity as hidden, natural nurturer is שדי SHaDahY (Exodus 6:3).
Yet, the same Shin-Dalet שד SHoaD means robbery and oppression (Psalms 12:6), and שד SHaiD is a destructive demon (Deuteronomy 32:17). [SHADE] שנה SHaNaH is both to change, and to repeat the same (see CHANGE)
שרש SHoReSH is a root and to uproot
A small fraction of these appear word pairs appear in "How The Hebrew Language Grew." They are dismissed as human errors. But Edenic did not evolve. These words are difficult to classify as human or as mistakes.

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