[b-hebrew] RE: "their altars" or "his/its altars"?

Reinier de Blois editor at sdbh.org
Fri Mar 4 02:06:16 EST 2005

Hi Michael,

You could argue that the singular possessive pronoun refers back to the 
singular YOWSHEB "inhabitant" in verse 12, which functions as a 
collective: a singular form with a plural meaning. Therefore neither the 
singular nor the plural possessives are incorrect.

Best wishes,

Reinier de Blois

Deborah Millier wrote:

> Dear B-Hebrew List Members,
> KiY   )eT-MiZB:XoTaM   TiToCW.N   W)eT-MfC"BoTaM  T:SfB"RW.N   
> W)eT-):aS"RaYW   TiK:RoTw.N
> (Please note what I highlight in *astericks* in my
> translation:)
> "For their altars you [all] shall tear down, and their
> standing stones you [all] shall shatter, and *his/its*
> Asherahs you [all] shall cut [down]" (Exo. 34:13).
> Now, of the very few English versions I checked, they
> all rendered  ):aS"RaYW  as "*their*
> Asherahs"--implying of course that the Asherahs
> belonged to or were in some relationship to the listed
> idolatrous inhabitants of the land (34:12). But, if
> I'm not mistaken, it would be better translated "his
> Asherahs" or "its Asherahs," right? Even if I'm
> reading the syntax correctly, I still can't find in
> the immediate context to whom or what these Asherahs
> might have been related or belonged, the other nouns
> in the verse being feminine and plural. My questions
> then are:
> 1) Is there any good reason to read  ):aS"RaYW  here
> as a plural possessive?
> 2) If not, then to whom or what might these Asherahs
> belong or be related?
> 3) Any suggestions/corrections on how to better read
> the raw data?
> --Michael Millier
> Manila, Philippines
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