[b-hebrew] Isaiah 30:13-14; conjunction

Joel Stucki joel at stucki.ws
Tue Aug 22 23:26:18 EDT 2006


On 8/22/06, Kerry VonDross <vondross at execpc.com> wrote:
> Dear B-Hebrew Members,
>
> I do not know the Hebrew language.  Therefore, I utilize a Parallel Hebrew-English Bible and an Expository Dictionary for a comprehension of Bible passages. The Interlinear Bible that I use is a translation of the Masoretic text by Jay Green, Sr., published in 1976.  I am attempting to understand Isaiah 30:13-14.  A literal translation in English is provided:
>
> "13 So this iniquity shall be to you as a broken section falling, like the bulging out in a high wall, the breaking of which comes suddenly in an instant.
> 14 And its smashing is as the smashing of a potter's vessel; when broken in pieces, he has no pity; for in its breaking there is not found a sherd to carry fire from the hearth, nor to skim water from a well."
>
> This interlinear translation also provides the original Masoretic text and list a word-for-word English translation above each Hebrew word.  I am writing it left-to-right, not as it is found in Hebrew written right-to-left.  It reads:
>
> "13 therefore / shall be / to you / iniquity / this / as a breach / falling / bulging out / in a wall / made high, / which / suddenly, /  in an instant, / comes /  its smashing. /
> 14 And its smashing / (is) as smashing / the / vessel of / a potter's / (when) broken, / not / he has pity / and not /
> there is found / in its breaking / a shard / to take up / fire / from the hearth, / or to skim / water / from a pool."
>
> Since the original text does not have a period, punctuation mark or space that separates verse 13 from verse 14, is this something that has been supplied by "modern" translators?  In other words, could the break and separation of these verses be at a different location?  Could it be translated to read as follows:
>
> "13 therefore / shall be / to you / iniquity / this / as a breach / falling / bulging out / in a wall / made high, / which / suddenly, /  in an instant, / comes.
> 14 Its smashing / and its smashing / (is) as smashing / the / vessel of / a potter's / (when) broken, / not / he has pity / and not /
> there is found / in its breaking / a shard / to take up / fire / from the hearth, / or to skim / water / from a pool."
>
> This is what I am attempting to understand.  How is the conjunction of verse 13 and verse 14 determined?
>
> Kerry VonDross
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In addition to the Sof Passuq already mentioned, your rendering does
not make much sense. (her smashing and her smashing is like the
smashing of a potters vessel). How is repeated smashing like smashing
a piece of pottery? Especially in relation to the second half of 14
were the analogy is expanded to mean that it is smashed into very fine
pieces, not that it is smashed repeatedly. Generally, I have always
found a single smash to be sufficient for most pottery.

Also you are left with this incomplete thought in 13. which ends with
"suddenly in an instant he comes." Who comes? Without "her smashing"
there to be the subject. You need either another masculine subject or
a pronoun in the translation.

I would recommend you learn Hebrew and avoid the interlinear stuff. I
have never seen a very good one. If it offers parsings of the Hebrew
it might be a useful study aid but it sounds like this one only pairs
up a predetermined translation with the Hebrew words. You might as
well stick with a good translation rather than use one of these.

Joel Stucki



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