Your sons or your Builder? (Is 62:5)

Yigal Levin Yigal-Levin at utc.edu
Mon Jul 8 10:55:28 EDT 2002


The rabbis in Bab.T. Berakhoth 64a used a similar "pun": Isaiah 54:13 says
"All your children ("banayikh") shall be taught of the Lord, and great
shall be the peace of your children." The rabbis said: Read not "your
children" but rather "your builders ("bonayikh")" - scholars of Torah
increase (build) peace throughout the world.



At 10:25 AM 7/8/2002 +0100, Maurice A. O'Sullivan wrote:
>At 02:02 08/07/02, Polycarp66 at aol.com wrote:
>
>>I might quote the JPS TANAK translation
>>
>>5 As a youth espouses a maiden,
>>Your sons shall espouse you;
>>And as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
>>So will your God rejoice over you.
>
>As long as you are quoting the JPS translation, shouldn't you also perhaps 
>point out  that it footnotes " your sons" with << Change of vocalization 
>yields “He who rebuilds you.”>>?
>
>"Change of vocalization" is surely the key issue here -- which is why I 
>don't think citing Westcott and Hort on " a choice of two readings " ( as 
>another posting has it ) is particularly helpful; Tov's volume [ Tov, 
>Emmanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 
>1992. ( and 2nd revised edition 2001 ] is a lot more relevant.
>
>Surely Liz's contention re puns has merit?
>To read an unvocalized text in two different ( but coherent ) ways is 
>altogether different to the strained and tortured nature of too many puns 
>in English.
>
>
>
>
>
>And I see support for  Liz's remarks on the _verb_ involved:
>
><<< I think we have here a couple of puns: it's both "builders" and
>"sons," and it's both "marry" and "take ownership of"/"possess".
> >>>
>
>in HAL:
>
>1. to own, rule over (gods over a nation) Is 26:13,  to prove oneself 
>master Jr 3:14 31:32; —2. to take possession of a woman as bride or wife, 
>to marry ( Neumann 231ff; deVaux 1:48ff) Dt 21:13 (Neumann 90) 24:1 Is 62:5 
>Mal 2:11;
>[Koehler, L. (1999, c1994-1996). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old 
>Testament. Volumes 1-4 combined in one electronic edition. (electronic 
>ed.). Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.]
>
>
>
>
>Regards
>Maurice
>
>
>
>
>Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
>mauros at iol.ie
>
>
>
>
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Dr. Yigal Levin
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga TN 37403-2598
U.S.A.



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