[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8

Samuel Arnet samuel.arnet at theol.unibe.ch
Sat Dec 11 03:42:11 EST 2004


Karl Randolph wrote:

> The -MW suffix is used well over 170 times in Tanakh, less than a
> third of those connected to the L- prefix. When we take into account
> all the uses of the suffix, there are several times that it refers to
> a singular object. That is more than the at least three times
> (Genesis 9:26-27, Isaiah 44:15) that it is connected to the L- prefix
> referring to a singular object. Examples include Genesis 19:15
> referring to the dawn, Exodus 15:5 where it refers to "a stone",
> shall I go on? You need to refer to all of these uses, not to
> restrict yourself to those connected to the L- prefix.

I was referring here to the form *LF^MOW*; you, however (in the
Genesis and Exodus passages mentioned above) to L:MOW and K.:MOW, which
are separate lemmas.

> The insistance that the -MW suffix has to have a plural meaning comes
> from its use in Isaiah 53:8 because of the theological implications
> of its use as a singular in that verse. Therein lies the impetus to
> eisegete a plural meaning into verses that have a singular
> construction.

As it now stands in L, the passage at the end of this verse is rather
difficult to translate. The Septuagint seems to have had a different
reading; based on this, BHS and others emendate to LAM.F^WET.

> Ps. I noticed that the list you referrenced does not include all the
> uses of LMW, where the L- prefix is used with the -MW suffix. Why
> were those examples omitted?

We are talking about two historically different, but similar looking
pronominal suffixes:

1. -F^MOW or -"Y^MOW, used a bit more than 75 times, always unstressed;
only in poetic parts of the Hebrew Bible, and most often used
with LF^MOW; another example is )"YN"^MOW in Ps 59:14;
2. -OW or -W, used (of course) very often, always stressed.

The former is, *morphologically*, plural, the latter is singular.

Samuel

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