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

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 05:37:40 EST 2005


For what it's worth, I find it more fitting to use )$ryw rather 
than mcbtm or mzbHtm, because the subject in verse 11 
is replaced by a singular subject in verse 12, and what I 
do find problematic is that it is in the masculine rather than
the expected feminine, and the fact that mcbtm and mzbHtm
use the plural rather than singular.  If I had to explain it, I
might suggest that two distinct versions are combined here, 
supported by the fact that several phrases appear twice: 
$mr lk (34:11) vs. h$mr lk (34:12), pn tkrt bryt lyw$b h)rc 
(34:12 vs. 34:15), as well as the consecutive ky (three 
times in 34:13-14).  If separated, this would form (version 
a): all of 34:11, ky through t$brwn of 34:13, and all of 
34:15-16, as opposed to (version b): all of 34:12, )t a$ryw
tkrtwn of 34:13, and all of 34:14.  This division is a lot 
more sensible.  It still doesn't explain why )$ryw is 
masculine though, although now the issue is the 
absence of one letter (t) as opposed to replacing two 
letters (tm) by a different two (yw).  As a masculine it 
reads more simply as a reference to some cult object
than a deity consort, in my opinion, because I would
expect words for consorts to be feminine.

Yitzhak Sapir



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