[b-hebrew] Ps.51.6

Trevor Peterson abuian at access4less.net
Thu Mar 31 05:43:00 EST 2005


Evgeny Ivanov wrote:
> I'm trying to understand the relation of two parts of
> Ps.51.6 "Against Thee I have sinned ..." and "You will
> be just in Thy word ...". The connecting gword is
> Le-MaAN, translated as "so that". Now, BDB says that
> Le-MaAN "is always "in order that", not merely "so
> that", but sts. in rethorical passages, the issue of a
> line of action, though really undesigned, is
> represented by it ironically as if it was designed".

I wonder if it helps to understand lema'an with reference to the act of 
confession. So not, I sinned in order that . . . , but (I confess that) 
I sinned, in order that . . . The point would be that the Psalmist is 
making this direct confession of sin, because he wants God's punishment 
to make sense. (I'm not saying that it doesn't make sense objectively 
without the confession, but the point is, if I never admit that I've 
offended God, I have no basis for calling his negative actions toward me 
a just response.) Just a thought.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics



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