[b-hebrew] Hebrew plural

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at iol.ie
Mon Aug 9 05:55:25 EDT 2004

At 03:09 09/08/2004, John Cordaro wrote:

>If so, how does one determine it is plural and how should we then 
>understand these verses?

Perhaps this excerpt from the UBS Handbook may be of help?

*The Hebrew expression for your Creator sounds like the Hebrew for your grave.

_Your Creator_ is the object of the imperative _Remember_. The form here is
plural (literally 'those who created you'), and although it occurs in  that
form in Job 35.10 and Psa 149.2, some commentators think  the  text  as  we
have it may have been damaged in transmission. They suggest 'your well,'  a
possible reference to the person's wife (as it is in  Pro  5.15),  or  else
'your grave' or 'your vigor.' The interpretation 'your grave' is  mentioned
in a footnote in TEV. The fact that in wisdom writing God is often referred
to as the Creator, and that  creation  is  a  prominent  notion  in  wisdom
literature and in Qoheleth, suggests the present Hebrew  text  is  correct.
The Hebrew plural form 'elohim, 'God,' is similar  to  the  plural  of  the
Hebrew for Creator. NRSV uses lower case, 'creator,' suggesting that it may
not be a reference to God but to a more general act of creation. We suggest
following RSV here, retaining 'Creator.' We  may  also  say  'the  One  who
created you.' Ogden, G. S., & Zogbo, L. (1998). A handbook on Ecclesiastes.
UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (Page  418).  New  York:  United
Bible Societies.

Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at iol.ie

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