Psalm 12:7

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Wed Feb 14 03:23:06 EST 2001

Hi Ted, you wrote:
> Knowing nothing about Hebrew I am easily confused, so
maybe you will help
> me with the following:  There seems to be a variety of
pronouns used in
> Ps.12: 7 in various English translations-- "us.. us" (NIV,
NRSV); "them..
> him" (NASB); "them.. them" (KJV).  What's the story on
this?  Is the same
> Hebrew term used in each instance, or are they different?

It depends on what manuscript/translation you follow.

The BHS has the pronominal suffix em (rhymes with aim) on
the word translated "keep."  The suffix means "them" (m.p.).
But several manuscripts, says the critical apparatus, have
enu instead meaning "us."  The LXX sides with the "other"
manuscripts, having humas, "us."

Suffixed to the word translated "preserve" or "protect" in
the BHS is ennu.  Notice the two _n_'s.  This doubling is
referred to as energic nun and often represents the 3ms
suffix "him," but it may less frequently be read as "us."
("us" is usually represented without the energic nun: enu).
Once again the critical apparatus in the BHS informs us that
several Hebrew manuscripts do indeed have enu, "us," once
again supported by the LXX, which again has humas, "us."

I think the differences inthe English translations is a good
indication of the complexity of the matter.

Shalom,  Bryan

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315-437-6744
(home) 315-479-8267

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