[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sat May 15 14:11:23 EDT 2004

Dear Rolf,

>It is true that several modern translations translate many 
>occurrences of QATAL with future reference  with simple future, but 
>in other instances the same translations translate differently. A 
>good example is the passage under discussion, Isaiah 53; but please 
>add 52: 13-15 as well. Many translations (perhaps most) render 
>52:13,15 with future tense, and this shows that the servant is a 
>future person (or group - not to exclude Jewish thinking). On this 
>basis I wonder why the verses of chapter 53 is not rendered by 
>future tense as well, because it is the same servant that is 
>mentioned in that chapter. Please tell me why? Another example is 
>the one I mentioned, Jeremiah 50,51. True many new translations use 
>future to a great extent in these chapters, but they are far from 
>being consistent. If you look at the WAYYIQTOLs and the QATALs in 
>this two chapters, you can see the inconsistencies.

HH: There is no need to translate all future events with future 
verbs. Isaiah 52:13-15 looks at two times in the future, the 
suffering of the Servant and His subsequent glory. To clarify that 
there is a progression in time, 52:14 puts the suffering in the past. 
It's past relative to another future action. The same thing is true 
in Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53:1 speaks of a time in the future subsequent 
to the events narrated in 53:2-12. These events will happen in the 
future, then the report about them will not be believed. So the 
report in the more distant future looks back at the less future 
events. It looks back to them as past. This is not a problem in 
English but only a way of handling relative time in the future.

				Harold Holmyard

>Best regards
>Rolf Furuli
>University of Oslo
>>Dear Rolf,
>>Perhaps you should give us a passage whose translation you don't 
>>like, and we can look at it. Many English translations render 
>>prophetic perfect verbs with English futures, so I am not sure what 
>>you are criticizing.
>>				Yours,
>>				Harold Holmyard
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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