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    "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

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    "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby MrFlibble » 17 Sep 2010 10:29

    There's a discussion about what arafel is on the Russian Dune forum (misconceptions have arisen due to poor translation), and while doing some research, I found this interesting piece of information:
    Arafel: A Hebrew word (ערפל), meaning 'fog'; generally used in reference to the Apocalypse. Possibly derived from Exodus 13:21 *The Lord preceded them... by means of a column of cloud to show them the way, and at night by means of a column of fire to give them light. or Job 22:13 *And thou sayest: 'What doth God know? Can He judge through the dark cloud?

    Now the second quote about judgement from the Book of Job is obviously referenced in the definition of arafel as the "could-darkness of holy judgement" (GEoD). What really surprised me is that Exodus is almost literally quoted in Dune:

    Leto stood in the foyer of his house, studying a note by the light of a single suspensor lamp. Dawn was yet a few hours away, and he felt his tiredness. A Fremen messenger had brought the note to the outer guard just now as the Duke arrived from his command post.
    The note read: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."


    I don't know if this was brought up before (in which case it completely escaped my attention), but this means that FH referenced arafel or at least had this concept on his mind long before writing GEoD.
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby grandmastercrafter » 17 Sep 2010 11:06

    yes - that doesn't surprise me - FH was deep like that. You've got me pulling up that section (gotta read between document editing - I totally know I'm going to make some mistake where some Dune shit gets into my work stuff... maybe spicing it up a little, eh?) :D
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby lotek » 17 Sep 2010 11:51

    yeah I remember that quote puzzling me quite a lot at my first read(and it still does)

    So thank you for that info, really!

    I love Dune for that, knowing there are so many layers I haven't even reached yet!
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Sep 2010 12:54

    I caught that reference immediately actually, that's a pretty common biblical (or Tanahkikal? :wink: ) reference, comes up fairly often in speach/lit.
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby SadisticCynic » 17 Sep 2010 19:44

    Yes, the reference to Exodus is pretty clear; what always confused me though was why arafel is what the Ixians could no longer make. Unless he meant they couldn't make an omniscient threat of some kind...
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby lotek » 17 Sep 2010 20:30

    I feel really incult suddenly
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby Freakzilla » 18 Sep 2010 02:12

    lotek wrote:...incult...


    I ought to write that one down...
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby lotek » 18 Sep 2010 04:25

    Freakzilla wrote:
    lotek wrote:...incult...


    I ought to write that one down...



    and now not so much ;)

    (I was looking for the translation of the French word "inculte", thinking I'd find a completely different English one, and no...
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=incult )
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    Re: "A column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night."

    Postby MrFlibble » 19 Sep 2010 07:26

    SadisticCynic wrote:Yes, the reference to Exodus is pretty clear; what always confused me though was why arafel is what the Ixians could no longer make. Unless he meant they couldn't make an omniscient threat of some kind...

    It is my understanding that arafel in GEoD refers to the possible future Siona sees in her vision, where mankind is exterminated by man-made machines. Leto also mentions that the Ixians were planning to create such machines in his conversation with Hwi Noree:
    "The lxians contemplated making a weapon-a type of hunter-seeker, self-propelled death with a machine mind. It was to be designed as a self improving thing which would seek out life and reduce that life to its inorganic matter."

    "I have not heard of this thing, Lord."

    "I know that. The lxians do not recognize that machine makers always run the risk of becoming totally machine. This is ultimate sterility. Machines always fail... given time. And when these machines failed there would be nothing left, no life at all."
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