I study Latin and I don't understand this sentence "absumat ebria sitientem", found in deuteronomy:29:19

Context (just before the sentence): [because when such a person hears the words of this oath, he may invoke a blessing on himself, saying: "I will have peace, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my own heart.]

Translations found of the sentence:

  • to sweep away the drunken with the thirsty.

  • to destroy the moist with the dry:

  • to add drunkenness to thirst.

  • (I go on, in order) to end the fulness with the thirst.

  • should not be destroyed together with the sinner, the sinless. (literal translation from Hebrew)

  • This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.


What is the meaning in Latin of this sentence? How would it be translated literally, in this context? I find this Latin extract hard to translate.

What is the meaning that Moises expresses? I feel it hard to understand.

What is the difference between all the possible translations I gave (or other ones), which one is the more literal and which one express the better the meaning that Moises wanted to express?

How come that there is several translations that are so different.

What is a saying in Moises time? What are the connotation of the Hebrew words?

  • Are you wanting an interpretation of the Hebrew, Greek or Latin? If of the Hebrew, perhaps the references to Latin are unnecessary. – Ruminator Oct 20 '19 at 18:44
  • 1
    As it's the Vulgate, I'd like both. I want to compare the meaning in Latin and all its connotation, and the original meaning in Hebrew, and all the connotations, as I don't understand why it was translated this way, and that is there real or original meaning. – Quidam Oct 21 '19 at 12:16

I have found an interesting note on a specialized book (freely downloadable):

"'Alisumat ebria sitientem'. It is a proverbial expression, which may either be understood as spoken by the sinner, blessing, that is, flattering himself in his sins with the imagination of peace, and so great an abundance as may satisfy, and as it were consume all thirst and want, or it may be referred to the root of bitterness spoken of before, which being drunken with sin may attract, and by that means consume such as thirst after the like evils." (The Complete Notes of Doway Bible and Rhemish Testament [...], by the Reverend Robert J. McGhee, 1837, Dublin)

I hope this helps you.

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