[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue May 18 01:06:10 EDT 2004

Dear Vadim:

----- Original Message -----
From: "UUC" <unikom at paco.net>

> Dear Karl,
> To answer your doubts, I know both biblical and modern Hebrew. There are not
> much differences between the two in writing, actually.

I expected so. There are major differences between Biblical to modern Hebrew. There are differences in grammar, idioms, vocabulary (even some of the same words have different meanings in ancient and modern Hebrew). I suspected that you are using modern Hebrew definitions to back up some of your translations, which is why I find parts of your translation -- wierd.
> >I read it as a passive form, "He was given his grave with the wicked" <
> What we know of ancient Hebrew comes to us mostly from Tanakh. Therefore, if
> you would find anywhere in the book a phrase like this, that someone was
> given his grave, you would have an argument. I do not recall such phrase,
> however. And if there is none in a corpus so huge, that means it's not an
> idiom.
> Besides, with this reading, you have a problem with the next word, which you
> would probably translate "tomb" (in order to poetically correlate with
> "grave"). Even the intense plural your colleagues imagine in this case is
> never applied to mot as "tomb." So, "tombs."
> What is "a state of death with the rich," eludes my comprehension, and such
> reasoning could be hardly attributed to an ancient author. It's forced,
> isn't it?
> And, uh,  how did you make waiyaten into "he was given"? Maximum, it's
> "someone gave." "He" is not there, if you prefer to read this verb as
> impersonal.

Almost everything we know about Biblical Hebrew is from Tanakh, and that isn’t that much. For example, even a document as tiny as the Gezer calendar has at least one lexeme that is not found in Tanakh. For your claim to hold water, we would need 10 times or more written examples from Biblical times, and we don’t have that. How many terms are used only once in Tanakh? Why not idioms only once?
> >PG( &#1508;&#1490;&#1506; has no equivalent in modern English.<

> How so? It's easily translated in Joshua as attached. Why not here?
> My Greek is dusty, so I can't really weight your analogy, but surely many
> words have broad meaning. That's not the issue. The issue is be. Wherever
> ifgia is used as intercessed, it is with be. Find one example to the
> contrary, and I accept your view.
> pga root meaning is to clash, that simple. Intercede is a possible meaning.
> But before someone and with a concrete aim. None is mentioned in the
> chapter.
> Come on, prefix le does not make pga into "to intercede." In Joshua,
> attached is also with le.

Which verse?
> I take your mention of your dictionary work as a call for my credentials. A
> book on Hebrew grammar and an 800-page book on the NT would suffice?

> BTW, I don't see your pga definition here as either short or terse.
> Steinberg is short; he writes "to clash" and derives other meanings from it.

Of the 46 times it appears in Tanakh, I don’t see a single time that it means “clash”. I don’t see where that definition comes from.
> Sincerely,
> Vadim Cherny
The most serious aspect of your claims is that you have decided for reasons other than linguistics to rule out certain readings.

Years ago, I was in an online debate where the claim was made that Christians mistranslate Isaiah 52:13–53:12. So I wrote my own translation, then challanged all in that debate to show me where I mistranslated it. I insisted that their critique had to be on linguistic grounds, not theology. So now when I see you ruling out certain translations based on theological grounds, I think that is out of place for this forum.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

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