Malachi 3:7 "Why? or How?"

Lewis Reich LBR at
Fri Sep 18 09:39:10 EDT 1998

On 18 Sep 98, at 13:56, Tony Calman wrote:

> The hypothetical response of Israel to the Lord Almighty's question in
> Malachi 3:7 is BaMMeh NaSHuB - translated "How shall we return". Is Pieter
> Verhoef's (NICOT, p.297) "Why do we have to return?" a fair translation.
> He does not make any comment regarding changing the interogative to 

The Hebrew words that to me unambiguously convey the meaning "why" 
are *MaDW`* and *L at M@H*.   *'"YK at H* (the initial word of 
Lamentations) can mean both "how" (its literal meaning) and "why".  
But when I think of *BaMMeH*, which literally means "with what", I am 
much more inclined to think of "how", or "in what way", rather than 

Lewis Reich
LBR at

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