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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Oct 23 09:40:22 EDT 2004

Dear Peter,

>>>>... The )$R in both clauses is probably substituting for the 
>>>>people. That's what I'm used to seeing. Fairly literally it is : 
>>>>"For thus says the Lord God, 'See, I am giving you into the hand 
>>>>of those you hate, into the hand of those from whom your soul is 
>>>Well, fairly literally, but more literally "For thus says the Lord 
>>>God, 'See, I am giving you into the hand which you hate, into the 
>>>hand from which your NEPE$ 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.

HH: I don't expect such a clash of number here as you suggest. I 
think it does not occur with hand, or is rare. You seem to be 
claiming that giving a plural idea to )$R is somehow not literal. But 
)$R is a relative pronoun and can represent either a singular or 
plural antecedent. if the referent is plural, it is fine and literal 
to use a plural idea in the translation of the relative pronoun.

					Harold Holmyard

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