[b-hebrew] "I Am" vs. "I Will Be"

Awohili at aol.com Awohili at aol.com
Thu Jun 29 21:01:39 EDT 2006

My sincere thanks to all who have commented (and may yet comment) on this  
topic I raised.  I have received many interesting replies.
As for my personal thoughts, I will just concur with the remarks of Robert  
Alter's _The Five Books of Moses_ (W. W. Norton, 2004) on this verse, on his  
translation of Exodus 3:14 as "And God said to Moses, 'Ehyeh-'Asher-'Ehyeh,  
I-Will-Be-Who-I-Will Be.'":
"'I-Will-Be-Who-I-Will-Be' is the most plausible construction of the  Hebrew, 
though the middle word, 'asher, could easily mean 'what' rather than  'who,' 
and the common rendering of 'I-Am-That-I-Am' cannot be excluded....Since  the 
tense system of biblical Hebrew by no means corresponds to that of modern  
English, it is also perfectly possible to construe this as 'I Am He Who  
Endures.'"  (page 321)
Like Alter, I acknowledge that ehyeh asher ehyeh can be translated  variously 
in English, but that "I Will Be Who I Will Be" is the "most plausible  
construction of the Hebrew."
Thanks again to all, and kind regards,
Solomon Landers

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