[b-hebrew] God vs angels in Ps 8:5

Trevor Peterson abuian at access4less.net
Fri Mar 25 13:06:06 EST 2005


----- Original Message Follows -----
From: kgraham0938 at comcast.net
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] God vs angels in Ps 8:5
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 17:38:08 +0000

> @Trevor
> Well I was thinking more on the lines like.  If elohim is
> translated as God, it would come out like. " You (God)
> have made him lower than God."  That does not make much
> sense to me.
> 
> So I was saying that maybe the mem there is saying that
> God has made man lower 'than' something else called
> Elohim.   Since XSR has an imperfect 2nd person prefix, I
> see that as the subject.  You[God] have made man lower
> than some other being called Elohim.
> 
> Make sense??

Yes, it makes sense, and that's what I figured you meant. It
still seems a little awkward the way you're wording it. The
min I think is perfectly clear as far as your question is
concerned. The question is what elohim means in this
instance. I agree with your impulse to think that a pronoun
would make more sense here, though I'm not sure that it's a
definitive argument. Some possible reasons not to use a
pronoun include distance from the identification of the
referent (all the way back in v. 1), deference, and
reference to God in quality rather than in person. On the
last point, I mean that elohim is somewhere between a
personal name and a general category. So, just as Pinnochio
might have said to Gepetto, "I wish you'd made me a real
person," without discounting Gepetto's own personhood, the
sense here could be similar, in that the quality of being
God is in view, rather than God as a person himself. Of
course, this understanding would leave open the possibility
that elohim includes more than just one particular being,
which gets us very close to the sense in the LXX anyway.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics



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