SAVING THE FREED ISRAELITE SLAVES FROM THE BIASED MISTRANLATION OF BEING ROBBERS
STEAL (Hee)TSeeYL Hey-Tsadi-Yod-Lamed
ROOTS: Anglo-Saxon staelan is linked to the IE “root” ster¬eo (rob, steal).
Yet STEAL means to take secretly or just to move surreptitiously. An eloping couple might STEAL away, without commiting any larceny. Usage has given STEAL a bum rap.
Similarly, the actual Edenic source of STEAL is about moral putting aside, even saving, and not, as mistralslated, an immoral robbing.
הציל HeeTSeeYL is rendered "taken away" in Genesis 31:16, but wealth is removed from an evil crook, Laban, who got his just deserts when Jacob earns his unpaid salary.
More famously, the freed Israelite slaves “spoiled” (KJV) or "despoiled” (J.H. Hertz and the Jerusalem Bible) the Egyptians, " or “stripped” (Etz Hayim) or “emptied” (ArtScroll) them in Exodus 12:36. These mistranslations are, at best, sloppy, and, at worst, informed by the “unfair-to- Goliath” bias.
The Israelites’ “borrowing” of valuables, prophecied in Genesis 15:14 and Exodus 3:22, like Jacob’s gain, are justified as a few hundred years owed back- pay.
Moreover, translators miss the newfound “favour” that the Egyptians had for the Israelites, and the valuables for the slaves being given as reparations … with hopes that their lives might be spared.
Ten plagues later , even a terrified Pharoah was begging the Israelites to go, and to bless him (save him) in Exodus 12:32… like the angel who loses the wrestling match with Jacob in Genesis 32:27 .
These imperiled losers needed blessings; winning their lives with mere gold, silver and clothes. The Egyptians successfully won deliverance of their lives in the deal; THEY were the robbers here.
In Exodus 5:23 the same translators render the same נצל NeeTSaiL as "save," “rescue” or “deliver.” The presence of prejudice and the absence of insight kept translators from the better rendering of Exodus 12:36 as “And they rescued Egypt” ( by accepting their reparations and apologies, even a mixed-multitude of hangers-on … instead of the mass murder and rapine of a normal slave revolt.)
A peek at a concordance ridicules the “spoil” translation. For example, when some of Moses’ spirit is put aside for elders, ( אצל ATSahL) in Numbers 11:17.
The Exodus 12 error likely influenced the weak rendition of a “brand plucked out of the fire” in Zechariah 3:2. The manner of removing something flammable from fire is far less important than saving it. The two-letter root for this putting aside is צ-ל Tsadi-Lamed/ TSaiL (side –see “LIST”).
Importantly, צל TSaiL is a "shadow." See “SILLOUHETTE” and "BASIL." A dark shadow, at the side of a light source, not only conceals secretive activity, but in the sometimes deadly Middle East sun a shadow is a savior.
Verbs from צ-ל TS-L did give us STEAL (which, later, did infer looting), but another Edenic ST+liquid is a shadowy activity of hiding or "stealing away." סתר $aTeR is to hide - Isaiah 16:3 or I Samuel 23:19. The STR of this etymon better matches the IE “root” for STEAL.