[b-hebrew] Zech 13:5

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jun 24 00:32:20 EDT 2005

> On 22/06/2005 16:58, Karl Randolph wrote:
> >Looking at the context might help. Previous to the phrase in question,
the person in question claims that he is a slave of the soil, grammatically
a possessive where the soil owns the person. Often a feminine noun denotes a
generalized subject, while a masculine of the same refers to a specific
subject, so in context this could be translated as “this soil” refeerring to
a particular plot of land. Is this the only example in Tanakh for )DMH / )DM
אדמה / אדם ?
> >
> >The verb QNH means to acquire and hold possession of (something) where
the acquiring part of the action can be by purchase or manufacture. There is
no equivelant in English, making any translation of this verb defective.
> >
> >Putting the two together, we get “I am a man who is a slave of the soil,
this soil has possessed me since I was young.”

Thanks Karl,
)DMH / )DM אדמה / אדם are found often together. Online Bible gives me 19
verses where both are used:
Gen 2:5,7,19; 6:1,7; 7:23; 8:21; Num. 12:3; Isa 6:11; Jer 7:20; Ezek 7:2;
12:22; 21:2; 33:24; 36:17; 38:20; Zeph 1:3; Hag 1:11. There may be more
where one word is at the end of one verse and the other word at the
beginning of the next.

You mention that "a feminine noun denotes a generalized subject, while a
masculine of the same refers to a specific subject."  Can you give me 3
examples of such? thanks.

Thank you for pointing out the connection between adam and adamah. I agree
that both refer to the same thing, but where you understand both to be soil,
I understand both to be mankind, especially, "the poor of the flock" (Zech
11:7,11). I don't know of a place in the Tanach where adam signifies soil.
But there are many places where adamah signifies the people who live on the
land (Job 31:38; Isa 19:17; Ezek 7:2; 18:2; 21:2-3; 25:6; 36:6; Joel 1:10;

I have 2 other problems with your translation:
-it totally loses the causitive sense of QNH
-the soil paid no price to possess "me" & QNH involves paying a price

I hadn't noticed that the word ish preceded servant of the ground until I
saw your translation. The phrase, "a tiller (or servant) of the ground" is
common, but this is the only occurance with the word ish,  אִישׁ־עֹבֵד
אֲדָמָה .

Building on your translation and on Peter's previous examples of adam & ish
used together, I would translate it:
And He will say, no prophet am I, I am a noble Man, a servant of the ground,
because the lowly of mankind I have been made to purchase from My youth.

Servant of the ground signifies the lowly of mankind, whom  He came to

The price He paid for the purchase is in the next 2 verses, 6-7.

From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
> Karl, you have an excellent point, although your apparent emendation of
> )DM "man" to )DMH "soil" is unnecessary. There is an obvious word play
> between )DMH, the soil to which the speaker is now a slave [ (BD -
> pointed in MT as (OBED rather than (EBED but still suggesting work as a
> slave], and )DM, the person who caused that "slavery" perhaps by
> bringing up the young person on a farm. So the meaning is something like
> "I am a worker of the land, that is what people have made me", but of
> course that misses the word play.

thanks very much for all your posts. In your translation, you have been
careful to keep the causitive sense, but I think it loses the meaning of
QNH. There is no possessing or aquiring. It is similar to the KJV.

-Steve Miller

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