SV: The daughter of Jeftah died?

Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Sun Jun 2 07:35:10 EDT 2002


Daniel wrote:

> However, I was looking at the footnotes in my Bible
> and saw an interesting theory.  It says that the
> Hebrew word translated "and" in verse 31 can also be
> translated "or."  Thus it could read, "...shall surely
> be the LORD's, or I will offer it up for a burnt
> offering."  Thus if the thing was an animal, he would
> sacrifice it; if it were a person, he would dedicate
> that person to the LORD.

Well, one issue that doesn't take any real knowledge of Hebrew is that
something offered as a burnt offering is "the Lord's." So the "or" reading
would seem awkward to me in any event. But Hebrew does have a distinct word
for "or," even though it can sometimes be indicated in different ways. In
this situation, the verb forms and positions used tend to show sequence (a
will happen, then b, then c, etc.), or even a closer relationship than that
(a will happen, that b may happen, etc.). Except for the motivation of
trying to get around the conceptual offensiveness of the act, I don't think
there's any real reason to take this as "or."

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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