Jeftah's daughter - a misunderstanding?

David Stabnow dstabno at
Wed Jun 5 11:25:30 EDT 2002

Ewan MacLeod wrote: I believe the phrase 'vehaalitehu olah' should be
translated as 'and I will offer him [i.e. God] a burnt offering.' . . .  If
the text meant, 'and I will offer IT up FOR a burnt offering', wouldn't the
'olah' have to be le-olah, i.e. FOR a burnt offering?

DKS: On the contrary.  If it had meant "I will offer it up to Him" the
indirect object, "to Him," would require the lamed -- LYHWH.

The direct object, that which is offered, can be expressed with the object
suffix (see Gen 22:2, 13 [these include an epexegetical lamed-noun phrase
-- L(LM "as a burnt offering"]; 1 Sam 7:9 Qere) or with an expressed object
(Gen 8:20 -- WY(L (LT BMZBX "& offered burnt offerings on the altar"; see
also Exod 32:6; 40:29; Lev 14:20; 17:8; Deut 12:13-14; Judg 6:26; 21:4; 1
Sam 13:9-12; 1 Kgs 3:4, 15; 9:25; Jer 14:12; Ezek 43:18; Job 1:5; 42:8; Ezr
3:2; 1 Chr 16:2; 21:24; 2 Chr 1:6; 24:14; 29:7, 27; 35:14-16).

The indirect object, to whom it is offered, must be expressed with a
preposition (Josh 8:31 -- WY(LW (LYW (LWT LYHWH "& they offered upon it
burnt offerings to YHWH"; see also Exod 24:5; Judg 13:16; 1 Sam 7:9; 2 Sam
24:24; Ezr 3:3, 6; 1 Chr 16:40; 23:31; 29:21; 2 Chr 8:12).  In Amos 5:22
the indirect object is LY "to Me" (see Ps 66:15).  In Judg 20:26 the
preposition is LPNY "before" (see also 2 Sam 6:17).

2 Chr 23:18 is different, where "burnt offerings of YHWH" is a noun phrase.

If one followed your line of reasoning, one would conclude that in 2 Kgs
3:27 the king of Moab offered a burnt offering to his son.  In fact there
is a double direct object: "he offered him [as] a burnt offering.  We know
that there is a double direct object there, because 1 Sam 6:14 features a
double direct object as well as an indirect object -- W)T-HPRWT H(LW (LH
LYHWH "& the cows they offered [as] a burnt offering to YHWH" (see also v.
15; Ezek 43:24).

Dave Stabnow
Bible Translation Editor
Broadman & Holman Publishers
Nashville, Tennessee
david.stabnow at

    Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for God's glory.  (1 Cor 10:31, HCSB)

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