[b-hebrew] Placeholders: )$R w/o antecedent

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Oct 23 05:57:01 EDT 2004

On 22/10/2004 22:52, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> Dear Peter,
>>> ... The )$R in both clauses is probably substituting for the people. 
>>> That's what I'm used to seeing. Fairly literally it is : "For thus 
>>> says the Lord God, 'See, I am giving you into the hand of those you 
>>> hate, into the hand of those from whom your soul is alienated.'"
>> Well, fairly literally, but more literally "For thus says the Lord 
>> God, 'See, I am giving you into the hand which you hate, into the 
>> hand from which your NEPE$ is alienated.'" Your "of those" is an 
>> interpretative addition, although the plural MHM, which doesn't go 
>> with the singular hand, suggests the plurality. (And as you see, I 
>> don't like to gloss NEPE$ as "soul".)
> HH: But your "more literal" translation did not include the plurality 
> of MHM. If you include that plurality in the translation, you have to 
> change the sense of )$R from "which" to "those." ...

Or you say that this implies that the hands were in fact plural, as they 
must in fact have been. Like colloquial English, Hebrew has no problem 
using a plural pronoun with a referent which is grammatically singular 
but logically plural. And if you don't like to change "hand" to "hands" 
in a literal translation, the implication is that literal translation is 
impossible. Well, that is a position I hold anyway, but we discuss that 
on another list. Your added "those" breaks the literalness at least as 
much as my suggested change to the plural.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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