[b-hebrew] Which of the two?

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Jul 15 14:56:59 EDT 2003

Dear Yigal:

After reading several verses where the text made better sense using different dots than what the Masorites inserted, I started reading an unpointed text. Therefore in this question, an unpointed text supports a plural reading as well as singular, and the plural fits the context better.

In the face of what I think is overwhelming contextual evidence that “my servants” should be read as plural, does anyone have any clue why the Masorites made this a singular?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Yigal Levin <Yigal-Levin at utc.edu>
> At 07:53 AM 7/15/2003 +0200, Pere Porta Roca wrote:
> >I'm inquiring if the first part of Is 43:10 (Atem 'eday...) must be
> >translated as:
> >
> >a) You are my witnesses and (you) are, too/also, my servant whom I chose...
> >
> >b) You are my witnesses; and my servant, whom I chose in order to..., is my
> >witness as well.
> >
> >I'll be grateful for your advice.
> >
> >Pere
> Hi Pere,
> I'd go with the first: after "witnessing" the nations in the previous
> verse, YHWH now turns back to Israel, whom He calls "My witnesses and My
> servant". The real question (to me) is why He suddenly shifts to the
> singular, and then keeps addressing them in the plural: "that y'all shall
> know and believe..."
> Of course, there are other places in the Bible where such shifts occur, but
> it seems strange here. Perhaps because He's referring to Jacob/Israel
> generically (cf. vs. 1). 
> Yigal
> 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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