mc2499 at mclink.it
Mon Mar 18 11:35:18 EST 2002
>Ezekiel 20:5, NRSV: "On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the
>offspring...". These translators have taken only the first clause as
>dependent on BYOM and the following clauses as main clauses.
Ezekiel 20:5-8 is the one sentence. English doesn't
like long sentences, so the translators have broken
5 On the day when I chose Israel,
and when I raised my hand to the seed of Jacob
and when I made myself known to them in the land of Egypt
and when I raised my hand, saying I am the Lord your God,
6 On that day,
I raised my hand to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt
to the land I had sought for them flowing with milk and honey
the glory of all the lands
7 And I said to them, man, cause abominations of your eyes to be
and on idols of Egypt do not defile yourselves
I am the Lord your God
8 And they rebelled on me...
V.5 gives the context, vv.6-7 give the event, and v.8 gives
the what followed -- all tied together in one sentence -- with
bywm repeated, the first governing four clauses and the second
for dramatic effect in anaphora, implying all that was
previously said under the first.
Now can you say it all in one sentence in English that would be
acceptable to today's reader? I don't think so and neither did
>least according to one respected translation team, there is no chain of
>coordinated clauses governed by b-noun.
This is a translation aimed at modern English, where such a
clause structure is difficult. You don't want to argue that
the Hebrew reflects the English language structure, do you?
It is the difficulty of understanding the complexity of
Gen 1:1-2 that is under question, not what the translator
does with it in another language.
>I accept that the waw is
>anomalous, and that according to this model Gen 1:1-2 could be
>translated with verse 1 subordinate to verse 2: "At the beginning of God
>creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void..."
>with a new sentence starting at verse 3. Actually this is close to NRSV.
>But this is different from what you have been arguing for, the
>subordination of verse 2 to bereshit.
>Ezekiel 24:25: This is irrelevant as there is only one clause here.
The verb has three objects. I took the third to be
clause fragment, m$' from n$' (the same relationship
as m`$h "that which is done" from `$h "do, make"),
implying the underlying clause:
their souls bear their sons and their daughters
that which is borne by their souls, their sons and their daughters
the burden of their souls, their sons and their daughters
(Note the Vulgate:
et tu fili hominis ecce in die quo tollam ab eis fortitudinem eorum
et gaudium dignitatis et desiderium oculorum eorum
super quo requiescunt animae eorum filios et filias eorum
... [that] on which your souls rest, your sons and daughters)
It was the complexity that interested me. The arbitrary
need for there to be more than one finite verb doesn't
mean too much, for the problem is how much can one load
into a time phrase governed clause structure.
Hebrew supports complex sentence structures. Our problem
is that we are bound by the variety displayed by the OT/HB
which we all recognize is limited linguistically because
it is a relatively small corpus.
I have shown that time phrases such as bywm and l`t govern
clauses as well as take nouns in constructs. As Hebrew has
complex clauses, there is no reason to exclude the fact
arbitrarily. I have shown ky with a complex clause, but for
some unknown reason you dismiss the fact out of hand, though
we are dealing with the same phenomenon, ie the subordination
>OK, maybe I misunderstood your original goalposts. But wherever they
>used to be, they are in the wrong place now.
Grin. When one is on the bench, one doesn't play the game.
One just supports one's team and doesn't care if there are
goalposts or not.
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