Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Halanetzach Tochal Cherev?

Literally: Will the sword consume forever?
Idiomatically: Do you always want to be at war?

The relatively famous and poignant phrase comes from Samuel II (2:26). Abner the commander of Saul's son Ish-Boshet turns to Yoav commander of David's army in a plea to stop the bloodshed between them. Though you can misread the phrase and think it says "will you eat your sword forever," the word "tochal" which literally means to eat, is referring to the sword devouring people, not the other way around. It, of course, is a cry which echoes throughout the ages.

Back to this week's lesson