[b-hebrew] Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful Counselor

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Dec 30 18:21:07 EST 2004

Dear Jim,

>>>  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".

HH: You may be using the wrong term. A hendiadys joins two terms as 
one by the conjunction "and." That's what Webster's says, and the 
Oxford English Dictionary, and Encarta, and the American Heritage 
Dictionary. Waltke and O'Connor use the term that way, too (#4.4.1b; 
4.6.1; 32.3b; 39.2.5). Perhaps you really mean apposition.

>>       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 :-)


HH: The Hebrew word for "wonder" can be in the absolute or the 
construct. See the similar word MeLeK as a construct in Gen 14:1. So 
the phrase can be "wonder, counselor" (absolute) or "wonder of a 
counselor" (construct). A translator would probably render the latter 
as "wonderful counselor."

				Harold Holmyard

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