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  5. "יש לו חברים בעולם התחתון."

"יש לו חברים בעולם התחתון."

Translation:He has friends in the underworld.

June 22, 2016



So this is not referring to where Greek mythology then...


Could one also translate this as "in low places," or is that getting a bit too free with the translation?


Not really, עולם תחתון refers to the criminal underworld.


Thank you. I hadn't realized that. I was thinking the ancient belief system about the dead.


That's what "friends in low places" means as well.


Where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases his blues away?

  • 1414

I thought it was in the Netherlands...


Would this always be referring to a person in a negative way?


I really can't handle the lack of distinct pronunciation between ה and א or ע. I am infinitely frustrated by not even thinking a consonantal ה if I don't hear an h sound. Incredibly frustrating.


Yes. It would help a great deal if Hebrew descendants today had held on to the ע especially. From what we're hearing, ע and א sound the same, pretty much empty. But, ע is supposed to have a big, nasally sound, and be pretty unmistakable. The Arabs still have it, but Hebrew is getting too westernized.


Sephardim still have the 'ayin'. Germans pronounce 'Yaakov' as 'Yankov' because of the 'ayin'. It sticks around here and there.


This is encouraging. I'm Sephardic but no one in my circle speaks Hebrew anymore. So, I didn't know this. My great grandfather spoke Hebrew. Would have been nice to know him.


What does it mean here with underworld? I don't get it


Yan explained above that it refers to the criminal underworld. Think organized crime and such. That wasn't my first thought either. Listening to Hadestown while studying will do that. Speaking of which, anyone who happens to know, is it correct that That underworld would be שאול?


I think that translating underworld to שאול Sheol is not a good idea, because different cultures have different expectations of what goes on in the underworld.

In ancient Jewish thinking, all people went to the underworld, and it was the hope of the righteous that they would be rescued or redeemed someday from Sheol by their God. See Gen. 37:35, Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 89:48.

Later, Greek thinking influenced Hebrew thought so that Hebrews believed that only the wicked go to Tartarus (which Hebrews thought of as Sheol). I can’t can’t find a biblical reference for that last tidbit, but I’m indebted to Dr. Michael S Heiser’s Naked Bible podcast 146 for illuminating this fascinating subject.


עולם תחתון is not construct state? He said 'ba-olam' and not 'be-olam'. I don't understand why some commonly used word combinations are not construct state. Mobile phone is another one.


It is not a construct state. Like with mobile phone, it's a noun followed by an adjective:

  • What kind of phone? A mobile phone
  • What kind of world? A lower world (literally)

As a rule of thumb (not a strict rule, but it will give you an idea), you can tell a construct state by putting של between the words to see if it makes grammatical and contextual sense:

  • House of books: בית של ספר => בית ספר
  • Cake of cheese: עוגה של גבינה => עוגת גבינה

For noun + adjective combinations it doesn't work though:

  • World of single underwear (?): עולם של תחתון
  • Eh?: טלפון של נייד

This works even in cases where even native Israelis have trouble. For example, יושב ראש = chairman, and many native speakers think it's a construct state, but it's actually just a compound noun. יושב של ראש indeed makes no sense.


"ba-olam" is "in THE world" and "be-olam" is "in A world." That's usually the difference between "ba" and "be", when "ב" is the prefix meaning "in".


Wow. Teaching me something... I have no friends in the underworld


It's claiming that the English translation is "He has friends in the bottom world." ❤❤❤?

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