[b-hebrew] God vs angels in Ps 8:6

James C. Kirk jkirk at wisc.edu
Sat Mar 26 13:51:22 EST 2005


Given that BH has no separate reflexive pronouns a preposition or 'et
with a suffix may be used with reflexive force (IBHS 16.4g), but are
there any other potential examples of a full noun phrase being used in
the reflexive position?  Unless there are I would think that this would
be closer to a definitive argument against the "elohim = God"
interpretation.  What do you think?

Jim Kirk
Inveterate Lurker

----- 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

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