[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53: oppression?

UUC unikom at paco.net
Thu May 27 11:17:04 EDT 2004

Dear Harold,

I thought it is self-evident that Ps107:33-38 is one piece, and then verse
39 starts another thought. Perhaps it is not. He exalts righteous poor, and
brings princes low.
See, Hebrew is critical of the state power, not of the riches per se. Can
you imagine where Jewish socialists come from?  :)

Usage of min as instrumental be is extremely non-standard, as you know. In
fact, I'm not sure there is any case where we can interpret min as
instrumental with certainty. Do you?
He was taken from jail and court - clearly, for execution. But what means,
Taken through oppression and judgment? You probably mean, taken upstairs.
But Isaiah - if he wrote this piece - was skeptical of the heavenly kingdom.


Vadim Cherny

> >I cannot imagine any other name for your exercise than "wild
> >
> >Whom else Ps107:39 refers to if not princes?
> HH: It refers to the people mentioned in the previous verses:
> Psa. 107:35 He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched
> ground into flowing springs;
> Psa. 107:36 there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a
> city where they could settle.
> Psa. 107:37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a
> fruitful harvest;
> Psa. 107:38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and
> he did not let their herds diminish.
> Psa. 107:39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by
> oppression, calamity and sorrow;
> HH: God changed the land into fertile farmland. Then He led hungry
> people to settle there and build a city. They prospered, and God
> blessed them. Then for some reason left unexplained, they diminished
> in numbers and were humbled through oppression, calamity, and sorrow.
> >Where did you find the meaning of otzer as "coercive?"
> HH: Coercion and oppression are similar concepts. I did not find the
> meaning of "coercive." That was part of a footnote from the NET Bible:
> The translation above assumes that /m here has an instrumental sense,
> "by, through," and understands otzer umishpat , "coercion and legal
> decision," as a hendiadys meaning "coercive legal decision."
> HH: A hendiadys is two nouns joined by a conjunction that function as
> a single idea. Often when a hendiadys is translated into English, the
> conjunction is dropped and one of the two nouns is changed into an
> adjective. So coercion changes into coercive.
> >Why me is instrumental, when its standard meaning is "from"?
> HH: The preposition MiN has many uses, and one of them is
> instrumental. The NET Bible footnote uses the term "Instrumental,"
> but another term might be "immediate, or efficient, cause," according
> to the Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon. So MiN can imply "in consequence
> of, at, by." The lexicon asks the reader to think of the use of the
> Greek proposition APO.
> >  >(2) "from [in the sense of "after," see BDB 581]
> >arrest and judgment."<
> >Close enough. So you wouldn't defend the "oppression" reading? Good...
> HH: The above statement is a quotation from the NET Bible. The word
> can mean oppression. It is oppression in Ps 107:39.
> >BTW, mishpat is not judgment, but the process of judging.
> HH: The lexicons give "judgment" as a meaning of mishpat. You are
> offering too much of a refinement.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
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