Literal translation of Dan 11:32

Peter_Kirk at Peter_Kirk at
Tue Sep 29 17:37:00 EDT 1998

Concerning the following, I just found an interesting comment:

[In Hosea 11.5-7]... the final peak is marked by a grammatical 
inversion, plural-singular; singular-plural of subjects and objects: 
"they called-HIM; no one will lift-THEM."... This also resembles the 
previous peak in 11.3, "But I made Ephraim walk, taking THEM on HIS 
arms." In Hosea this kind of switch in number for the same referent 
within a line is one of the strongest markers of peak, with over 99% 
probability of nonchance...

from LF Bliese "Symmetry and Prominence in Hebrew Poetry: With 
Examples from Hosea", in ER Wendland (ed) "Discourse Perspectives on 
Hebrew Poetry in the Scriptures", UBS 1994.

So I wonder if the shift of number for (AM in the passages indicated 
below also indicates peak? Certainly Dan 11:32 is some kind of peak. 
Looking briefly at the other references Lewis has listed, several of 
them could be considered peak, but not all. Perhaps peak is one of the 
reasons for such grammatical irregularity.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Literal translation of Dan 11:32
Author:  LBR at at internet
Date:    26/09/1998 07:44


Interestingly, this is not the only verse where (aM is 
treated both as plural and as singular.  A cursory search 
turned up the following examples in Exodus:

Ex.  4:31 - WaYYa):aM"N  Hf(fM  WaYYi$:M:(W.

Ex. 12:27 - WaYiQoD  Hf(fM  WaYiY$:TaX:aWW.

Ex.  16:4 - W:YfCf)   Hf(fM  W:LfQ:+W.

Ex.  17:2 - WaYYfReB  Ha(aM  (iM  Mo$eH  WaYYo(M:RW.

(and similarly Ex. 20:15; Ex. 33:4;  Ex. 33:10; Lev. 11:32; 
Num. 20:3;  Num. 21:7; Num.  25:2;  Josh. 6:20; Josh 24:16; 
Josh.  24:21; Judges 9:42; Judges 20:22; Judges 21:2;
1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Samuel 4:4; 1 Samuel 14:32.  I did not 
continue my search past this point, having satisfied 
myself that this was not a rare occurrence.)

Does the relative frequency of this interesting phenomenon 
suggest the possibility that Biblical Hebrew may have 
regarded this collective noun as having a dual character as 
both a singular assembly and a plural collective that did 
not necessarily require consistent treatment within a 

Lewis Reich
LBR at

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