[b-hebrew] Re: agent or patient in Psa. 33:12?

Deborah Millier deborahmillier at yahoo.com
Thu May 13 12:52:13 EDT 2004

> > HH: Liz gave one reason, and I gave another. But
> > if you want a third reason, your translation
> > doesn't have YHWH as a possible object. If LW
> > means "for itself," then there is no object for
> > the verb "choose."
> >
> Harold,
> This is what I've been trying to say all along.
> LW means "for itself/himself." There's no object for
> "choose." To have "Him" be the object as Michael
> wants, it would have to be BW.
> Liz

Liz and Harold (...anyone?),

Please assume that I am totally dense and walk me
through this, okay?  I am actually trying to learn
from those with more experience in the language. 
Therefore, let’s not work off my *translation* which
we all agree could use some work.  Let’s please argue
and instruct from the MT of Psa. 33:12.  

Now here are my observations.  Tell me exactly where
my reasoning is faulty:

1.  HGWY and H(M are in synonymous parallelism – both
referring back to )$RY.

2.  The first stiche is a verbless clause; the second
is not.

3.  The verb in the second stiche is ms; YHWH and (M
are both ms.

4.  Therefore the same syntactic rules apply to either
YHWH’s “choosing” or H(M’s “choosing.”  If one
requires a prefixed B- then so does the other.  

5.  But this is poetry and terse, therefore object
markers and prepositions are sometimes missing.

6.  Consequently, in our little poetry world, what
applies syntactically to the ms YHWH theoretically
applies to the ms H(M.  If YHWH can “choose”
something/one LW, then so can H(M “choose”
something/one LW.  And visa-versa.

7.  Therefore, the verse is syntactically ambiguous.

8.  So the question must now go beyond the range of
syntax.  Karl R. has offered some helpful thoughts
concerning who (or Who) usually does the choosing in
Israel’s and YHWH’s covenant relationship.  It is
YHWH.  Usually.

9.  However, it is not always YHWH Who chooses;
sometimes people choose Him in the TaNaKH.  And it is
not always Israel who is YHWH’s NXLH (i.e.
inheritance); sometimes YHWH is described as Israel’s
or the Levites’, or someone’s “inheritance.”

10. Therefore I wonder why this verse is consistently
translated one way, with Israel ending up as YHWH’

-- Michael Millier

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Movies - Buy advance tickets for 'Shrek 2'

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list