[b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 subjects

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Aug 10 10:42:45 EDT 2005


On 8/10/05, Read, James C wrote:
> 
> 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.
> 

The problem is not just finding an ambiguous context.  The issue is an
ambiguous context where the (real) agent isn't referenced at all.  In the prior
example you gave (Exodus 2:19-20), Reu'el and Moses ("an Egyptian 
man") were both mentioned in the preceding verses (18-19).  So the
ambiguity only involves two agents who are mentioned in the verses.
In the case above there isn't any real ambiguity in the agent, but even if
there is, I don't think there is any reason to bring in an agent not mentioned
in the prior verses.  Not only is &+n not mentioned in the prior verses of
2 Sam 24:1, but 2 Sam 24:1 begins a new "paragraph".  Furthermore, in
the whole book of Samuel, the word &+n seems to be only mentioned twice 
and in a very specific phrase (hyh l-X l&+n).  It has nothing to do with the 
paragraph in question.

Yitzhak Sapir



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