Re: [b-hebrew] Qó-desch la-Yhwáh

B. M. Rocine brocine at
Wed Sep 24 13:20:10 EDT 2003

Hi Sergio,

I think both are possibilities depending on one's philisophy of translation,
but "consecrated to YHWH" or "holy to YHWH" is slightly more paraphrase or
explanation than translation.

layhwh can be the idiom for possession  by YHWH.   qodesh is a noun that
means "holiness."  So the less interpreted version is your first.  An even
less interpreted translation is "holiness is YHWH's."

The prefix la on layhwh can equally mean "for" giving us "holiness is for

Which do I prefer?  I generally prefer a translation that *does not* do a
lot of interpreting or explaining for the readers.  I think that stuff
belongs in the commentary in the margins.  Since "holiness is for YHWH" and
"holiness is YHWH's" are equally supportable linguistically, I turn to the
context for my preference.  The garments of the high priest are called in
Hebrew bigdey qodesh, "clothes of holiness."  The inscription crowns and
explains the clothing with the inscription "[the] holiness [people see
beneath this crown] is for YHWH."

Hoping to help,


you wrote:

> Hi all,
> In Ex 28:36 and 39:30 we find the words that appeared on the sign the high
> priest had: "Qó-desch la-Yhwáh". The same words appear in Zac 14:20.
> Some translations render this something like: "Holiness belongs to
> but others something like: "Consecrated to Jehovah".
> Are both correct possibilities? Which do you prefer and why?
> Thanks in advance,
> Sergio (Madrid)

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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