[b-hebrew] Isa. 9:5

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 3 07:46:15 EDT 2004

On 03/08/2004 12:33, Lira wrote:

>The Judaica Press Complete Tanach translates Isa. 9:5 in this way:
>"For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, 'the prince of peace.'" 
>What is your opinion about this?
>Rosangela Lira

This seems to me an improbable interpretation of the second half of the 
verse, given the word order. The verb QR' in this sense requires a 
subject and two objects: S called O1 O2. This translation takes S as 
"the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father", O1 as 
"his name", and O2 "'the prince of peace.'" This implies that the Hebrew 
word order is verb - O1 - S - O2. This word order may not be impossible, 
but I would expect it to mark something rather unusual, and also to be 
clearly indicated in the text. I don't see either of these criteria 
fulfilled here.

Rather, I see a theologically motivated distortion of the translation. 
But this seems to be misguided. The Christian interpretation of 'EL 
GIBBOR may seem out of place in the context, but this kind of name made 
up of 'EL and a noun or adjective was reasonably common in pre-exilic 
times as a personal name and not considered a divine title.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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