[b-hebrew] Pronoun )nky in Judg. 6:8
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Oct 6 09:03:30 EDT 2004
> > So lets ignore the position of the pronoun and ask the question why do we
>> see a pronoun at all? What is the function of the pronoun. I agree this has
> > to do with issues other than syntax. "Focus" isn't a syntax issue.
HH: This is an interesting question and may be
hard to resolve immediately from the context, but
I think the function of the pronoun is contrast.
One may need to go back to the first verse of the
chapter and earlier to see how:
Judg. 6:1 ¶ Again the Israelites did evil in the
eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave
them into the hands of the Midianites.
HH: What exactly did it mean that the Israelites
did evil in the eyes of the Lord? It seems clear
from the verbal pattern already established in
the book from as early as 2:10:
Judg. 2:10 ¶ After that whole generation had been
gathered to their fathers, another generation
grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he
had done for Israel.
Judg. 2:11 Then the Israelites did evil in the
eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
Judg. 2:12 They forsook the LORD, the God of
their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt.
They followed and worshiped various gods of the
peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to
Judg. 2:13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
HH: This caused the Lord to send enemies against them:
Judg. 2:14 In his anger against Israel the LORD
handed them over to raiders who plundered them.
He sold them to their enemies all around, whom
they were no longer able to resist.
HH: This sets the repeated pattern for the following chapters:
Judg. 2:16 ¶ Then the LORD raised up judges, who
saved them out of the hands of these raiders.
Judg. 2:17 Yet they would not listen to their
judges but prostituted themselves to other gods
and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they
quickly turned from the way in which their
fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the
Judg. 2:19 But when the judge died, the people
returned to ways even more corrupt than those of
their fathers, following other gods and serving
and worshiping them. They refused to give up
their evil practices and stubborn ways.
Judg. 3:5 ¶ The Israelites lived among the
Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites,
Hivites and Jebusites.
Judg. 3:6 They took their daughters in marriage
and gave their own daughters to their sons, and
served their gods.
Judg. 3:7 ¶ The Israelites did evil in the eyes
of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and
served the Baals and the Asherahs.
Judg. 3:8 The anger of the LORD burned against
Israel so that he sold them into the hands of
Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom
the Israelites were subject for eight years.
Judg. 3:9 But when they cried out to the LORD, he
raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of
Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.
Judg. 3:12 ¶ Once again the Israelites did evil
in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did
this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power
Judg. 4:1 ¶ After Ehud died, the Israelites once
again did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Judg. 4:2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of
Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.
The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived
in Harosheth Haggoyim.
HH: The mention of Jabin in 4:2 introduces the
narrative continuing through chapter 5, but the
pattern returns with 6:1, so we can assume that
the evil in 6:1 involved the worship of other
gods. When the people cry out to the Lord for
deliverance 6:6-7 and he sends them a prophet, I
think He wants to remind them that it was He, and
not some other god, who brought them out of
Egypt: The words in 6:10 also support this idea:
Judg. 6:8 he sent them a prophet, who said,
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
It is I who brought you up out of Egypt, out of
the land of slavery.
Judg. 6:9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt
and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove
them from before you and gave you their land.
Judg. 6:10 I said to you, 'I am the LORD your
God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in
whose land you live.' But you have not listened
HH: I realize that there is no relative pronoun
before "brought" in 6:8, but I added it in order
to show in English what the force of the emphatic
Hebrew pronoun )NKY might be. The Lord seems to
be contrasting Himself with the gods of the
Amorites, who never did anything for the
>And unfortunately, that puts it outside my area of real expertise. My
>research rarely goes above the clause and/or clause-connector level. I can
>spell "pragmatics," but that's about it :-)
>"No good. Hit on head." -Gronk
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