[b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 subjects

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Wed Aug 10 10:10:29 EDT 2005

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 09:19:46 -0400 George F Somsel <gfsomsel at juno.com>
> On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:24:05 +0100 "Read, James C"
> <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk> writes:
> > 
> > I was asked to find a good example of ambiguous agents. Exodus 
> > 4:24-26 seems to do the job nicely:
> > 
> > 24  Now it came about on the road at the lodging place that 
> Jehovah 
> > got to meet him and kept looking for a way to put him to death. 25 
> > Finally Zip?po?rah took a flint and cut off her son?s foreskin 
> > and caused it to touch his feet and said: ?It is because you are a 
> > bridegroom of blood to me.? 26  Consequently he let go of him. At 
> > that time she said: ?A bridegroom of blood,? because of the 
> > circumcision. 
> > 
> > v24 Who met who? Who tried to kill who?
> > v25 Whose feet did the piece of skin touch? Who is the bridegroom 
> of 
> > blood?
> > v26 Who let go of who?
> > 
> > None of the above questions can be answered unequivocally without 
> > extensive use of context and a 
> > touch of interpretation.
> > 
> > Love and Shalom
> > James Christian
> > 
> > This email has been scanned for all viruses by the MessageLabs 
> Email
> > Security System.
>  _______________________________________________
> This passage has a series of 3ms suffixes of which all refer to 
> Moses.  I
> see nothing particularly ambiguous about it.  
> george
> gfsomsel

Excuse me, I was thinking of the object due to the repeated "whom."  That
answer still stands.

v. 24 clearly states that YHWH met him and also tried to kill him (Moses,
remember him?)
v. 25 as previously stated, the 3ms suff. refers to Moses' feet.  Z then
addresses this same Moses "You are . . ." (Surely you don't think she was
referring to her son?  or YHWH?).
 v. 26 since the 3ms suffs. refer to Moses, the 3ms verb cannot well
refer to him as well.  The only participant of whom masc. verbs are used
here I YHWH.  "Her son" would hardly qualify since he is not an actor in
the scene.

While it does require a slight amount of understanding (I.e., who is
active, and who is passive here?), there is nothing particularly
ambiguous regarding any of this.  In this YHWH and Z are the active
participants while Moses and "her son" are passive participants -- Moses
is attacked and "her son" is circumcised.


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