[b-hebrew] Jer 38.9 as hyperbole
randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun Feb 13 14:51:18 EST 2011
> concerned about the life of Jeremiah, and he
> tells the king that the prophet "is on the point
> of dying," or that "he will die" if the situation
> continues. This is a critical situation in the
> real world. It is no exaggeration (hyperebole),
The problem with this explanation is that it does
not explain how the Hebrew communicated the
subtlety of the translation 'be on the point of dying'.
The MT, according to how the Masoretes understood it,
was saying "and he is dead". That was an exaggeration
in the circumstances.
Also, to correct some earlier statements-- my friend
did not refer to we-met (weqatal) but to
we-yamo't "and (so that) he would die".
What is of interest is to notice that the Masoretes
could have vocalized the Hebrew wymt in two
ways: weyamo't (plain prose) 'so that he would die'
or wayya'mot 'and he died.'
the second carries shock and impact, even after
one realizes that it is an exaggeration. Not only did
the MT chose the 'more difficult reading', but the
targum reflects (kevar mit) the same rhetorical
(PS: I would appreciate more statistics on the
Old Greek translators.)
Randall Buth, PhD
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
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