[b-hebrew] Isaiah 64:4
George F. Somsel
gfsomsel at juno.com
Tue Aug 31 13:02:09 EDT 2004
On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 08:53:02 -0700 (PDT) Sujata <shevaroys at yahoo.com>
> Dear Harold and George,
> I did mean Is 64:4 in the English Bible and my
> question particularly is about the phrase "O God". In
> KJV I have "O God" in NKJV and others I have "A God",
> in JPS (Is 64:3) "A God" and in the Qumran scroll
> translation "O God". So I am wondering what is the
> exact translation from Hebrew, is it "a God" or "O
> I truely appreciate your help.
> God Bless,
This specific question is difficult, if not impossible to answer
definitively. Van der Merwe in _A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar_
3. Syntactic functions of the article??
(i) The article is sometimes used in the construction of the vocative to
designate a specific addressee. (Cf. §34.4.)
X"Y_NaP:$:Kf HaM.eLeK: As your soul lives, O king (1 Sam. 17.55).
It may be omitted.
L"K_)eL_N:MfLfH (fC:L Go to the ant, O sluggard (Prov. 6.6).
In your passage )e:LoHiYM (God) has no article, but according to Van der
Merwe's example this does not preclude it's being a vocative. It is the
context which must determine its usage. This is why you have a
discrepancy between the KJV together with the translations which stand in
its tradition and the JPS Tanach -- they understand the text differently.
In other words, it's not simply a grammatical decision.
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