[b-hebrew] Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful Counselor

Jim West jwest at highland.net
Thu Dec 30 17:19:35 EST 2004

At 05:05 PM 12/30/2004, you wrote:

> > The simple, straightforward exposition (translation) of the phrase in 
> hebrew is "marvelous advisor" or
> > the more common "wonderful counselor".
>    From what you say, I gather either thought "wonderful, counselor" 
> (noun, noun), or "wonderful counselor" (adjective,noun) could possibly be 
> represented with the same Hebrew expression, even though wonderful is 
> grammatically a noun.

Its the construction itself that gives the hint at proper 
translation.  Hebrew is capable of piling up nouns.  Here we have a 
participle and a noun.  That combination forms a hendiadys.  A hendiadys 
indicates that two words modify one another- it is literally a "saying one 
thing with two words".

>       Here are some folks who seems to think so.  I really don't know if 
> they are right or wrong on the technical Hebrew, so comments here would 
> be welcome.  The first one repeats what we know, giving his grammatical 
> interpretation.  The second one is either in over his head, or making a 
> deep point :-)
>God in a Manger - Adam Blumer
>Many writers and scholars alike mistakenly treat the word wonderful as an 
>adjective as in "Wonderful Counsellor" (with the comma deleted). Actually, 
>in the original Hebrew, the word wonderful of Isaiah 9:6 stands alone as a 

Ok my problem here is a simple one.  If the guy doesn't know that the verse 
is actually 9:5, ......

>Modern translations remove the comma between Wonderful and Counsellor 
>thereby removing one of the titles of Jesus Christ changing it from a noun 
>to an adjective. The difference in this example is in an accent in the 
>Hebrew or as Jesus called them: a tittle.

This insertion of Jesus into the passage is totally eisegetical.  It is a 
Christian way of reading the text which frankly has nothing to do with the 
meaning of the text.

>Well I don't claim to know anything about commas in Latin,
>    ( www.crosswalk.com has 'Admirabilis consiliarius' )
>but it is not likely that the King James Bible gave the Vulgate much notice.

Wycliffe did- and Tyndale used Wycliffe- and KJV used Tyndale.  Hence the 
chain of evidence.  It was, in fact, the Vulgate that Wycliffe translated.

>Generally both the socalled LXX and the Vulgate were simply noted as
>auxiliary sources and bypassed in the King James Bible Tanach,

True- but they also note in the preface that it is a "translation" which 
took diligent care in "comparing" its translation to the originals.  What 
does this mean?  It means that the revisers of the KJV had an existing 
english version and they compared the original texts to that version and 
revised where they thought appropriate.  The KJV is a revision, not a fresh 

>translated using the Ben Hayim Masoretic Text as the primary source text,
>by men who were skilled semiticists.

Nuh uh.

>Note that the Greek OT (the socalled LXX), as often, varies greatly.
>Personally I do not consider it of much relevance, but for background
>here is a differing Greek OT text.
>“Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty One, Potentate, Prince of Peace, Father of 
>the age to come.”­The Septuagint, as found in the Codex Alexandrinus, 
>translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton, c. 1850.

Brenton? Ick.

>Thanks for the forum.  Good stuff.

And thanks to you for your always delightful notes.

>Steven Avery


Jim West, ThD

http://web.infoave.net/~jwest Biblical Studies Resources
http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com Biblical Theology Weblog

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