[b-hebrew] Hebrew plural

C. Stirling Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 9 00:46:49 EDT 2004

On 8/8/04 7:09 PM, "John Cordaro" <jcordaro at intergate.com> wrote:

> Can someone please elaborate on Eccl 12:1 and Isaiah 54:5. Is it true
> that "Creator" is plural in Eccl 12:1 and "husband" and "Maker" are
> plural in Is 54:5?
> If so, how does one determine it is plural and how should we then
> understand these verses? Is it similar to a plural of majesty or are we
> to believe there are two Creators (or more) which is contrary to Is
> 44:24 which states YHWH created "alone" and by Himself?


RE: Eccl 12:1

BR) shows up as a participle in the following places:

Is. 40:28 Is. 42:5 Is. 43:1 Is. 43:15 Is. 45:7 Is. 45:18 Is. 57:19 Is. 65:17
Is. 65:18 Amos 4:13 Psa. 102:19 Eccl. 12:1

Only in Eccl 12:1 is it a plural. Both the LXX and the Vulgate render it as
a singular. The sort of OT scholars who like to solve problems by
conjectural emendation have taken a pass at this text. For a brief overview
see T. Longman (NIGOT, Eccl.*).

I don't think the plural here is a serious problem. Morphological plurals
with singular referents are not exactly rare. I think you can safely rule
out a multiple creator hypothesis.

Clay Bartholomew  

*The book of Ecclesiastes / Tremper Longman III.
Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, c1998. 

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