[b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 v. Gen18:1-3

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Sat Aug 13 18:43:02 EDT 2005

I always thought that adonai meant my lord/master/sir in the singular.

Anyway, the point here is that earlier it was argued that the 'wa' prefix can only be 
understood as a succession of events. However, as is clear from this example, that is not 
always true. The first clause, 'Yah appears to Abram', is an introduction to the account 
and the subsequent clauses expand on how that happened by backing up a bit and explaining the
story. i.e. this is not a strict sequence of events even though the second clause begins
with the 'wa' prefix.
In exactly the same way 2Sam24 starts with a scene setting statement that Yah got angry and
then backs up a little and explains how that happened.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Yigal Levin
Sent: Sat 8/13/2005 10:00 PM
To: b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 v. Gen18:1-3
I would go even more slowly. When Abraham first sees the three "men", he
does not know that they are "angels". The addresses them "Adonai" - "sirs" -
not YHWH. He then offers them food, all the while continuing to address them
in the plural. It's only in verse 10 that they speak to Abraham in YHWH's

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Read, James C" <K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 10:36 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 v. Gen18:1-3

> Another interesting account is the account in Genesis 18, where we are
told that Yah appears to Abram amidst
> the big trees at Mamre. The account futher elucidates that Abram raises
his eyes and sees three 'men'. In verse
> three he addresses them or one of them as YWHW.
> This section is particularly interesting because verse 2 starts with
WaYYi$$a). Is this a series of events?:
> 1) He sees Yah
> 2) He sees the men
> 3) He addresses them as Yah
> or is it backing up a little and explaining how things happened?:
> 1) Yah appears to Abram in the sense that 3 men (messengers) visit him and
Abram perceives that they are
> from Yah
> 2) Abram addresses them as YHWH because he knows they are his messengers
> I think this example adequately shows how a too literal idea of subjects,
objects and verbal sequence can cause
> the reader to grossly misunderstand the text.

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