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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu May 13 13:20:42 EDT 2004

Dear Michael,

>  > > 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, letís not work off my *translation* which
>we all agree could use some work.  Letís 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 ñ 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
>YHWHís ìchoosingî or H(Mís ìchoosing.î  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 ìchooseî
>something/one LW, then so can H(M ìchooseî
>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
>Israelís and YHWHís 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 YHWHís NXLH (i.e.
>inheritance); sometimes YHWH is described as Israelís
>or the Levitesí, or someoneís ìinheritance.î
>10. Therefore I wonder why this verse is consistently
>translated one way, with Israel ending up as YHWHí

HH: You seem to be assuming that everything is 
pretty much equal, so it is just a matter of 
seeing which subject and object is most 
appropriate. But the grammar works differently in 
each case.


HH: If God is the subject of the second clause, everything goes smoothly:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (which the Lord is its God),
The people He chose as an inheritance for Himself.

HH: If the people is the subject, things do not proceed well.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord
The people which chose as an inheritance for itself.

HH: The verb "chose" is missing an object. How 
would you alter the preceding statement?

				Harold Holmyard

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