Literal translation of Dan 11:32

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Fri Sep 25 03:17:24 EDT 1998

Lewis Reich wrote:

> On 24 Sep 98, at 9:07, Lee R. Martin wrote:
> > All references to the subject are plural except for the 3ms
> > pronominal suffix.  Why is it singular?
> It seemed to me that it is singular because  (aM  -  nation or
> people, is a collective noun, and Hebrew treats singular collective
> nouns as American English does (the company has decided) rather than
> as British English does (the company have decided) - as taking
> singular verbs and pronouns.


I'm not sure you're understanding the question.  I'm absolutely certain that
Lee realizes that (aM is normally a collective noun.  I know I realized that
with my response to the original question.  But, if it is a collective, why is
it only *grammatically* treated as a collective in the 3ms pronominal suffix.
All the other referents are 3mp (i.e., the participle and the two yiqtols).
How do you propose we explain the plurals?

The closest possibility I could find to this in W&O'C [Waltke and O'Connor] is
16.4.b, which says that "Singular suffixes can hav a collective reference,
and, conversely, plural suffixes may be used after collective singulars."
However, in this case, it appears like we have a collective singular referred
to by a plural participle, a singular suffix, and two plural verbs.  Is this
another case where I missed a common phenomenon, in this case, the switching
of number when dealing with collectives?  If not, what's the argument against
Lee's suggestion of, "but the people who are aware of his god (that is, this
false god of the enemy) will prevail and act"?

Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

zellmer at

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