[b-hebrew] "Desire of Women" in Heb. Text of Dan. 11:37

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Tue Nov 14 23:25:09 EST 2006

Steve Miller wrote:
>> Steve Miller wrote:
>>> Re. Hag 2:7. I believe it should be translated "the desire of all
>>> thenations shall come", not "the desirable things of the nations shall
>>> come"because "desire" is singular. The verb "come" is plural, which I
>>> thinkindicates that the desire of all the nations is actually God
>> Himself.
>> HH: This seems like an ad hoc explanation of the grammatical
>> phenomenon. J. Alec Motyer ( _Haggai_ in _The Minor Prophets_, ed.
>> Thomas Edward McComisky, 3:991) finds the plural verb a real hindrance
>> to the Messianic interpretation since the verb requires a plural
>> subject. He thinks we could say with GKC #145b, d that the plural verb
>> points to "chemdath" being taken as a collective: "treasures." Or he
>> thinks with GKC #124r we can suppose that, since "chemdath" is in
>> construction with "goyim," the whole phrase can be taken as a plural. He
>> does not feel that it is necessary to emend the first noun "chemdath" to
>> a plural as BHS suggests. Both of his suggestions are well-attested
>> grammatical phenomena and give better solutions to Hag 2:7 than the one
>> offered by Steve.
> Harold,
> [Steve Miller] Harold,
> Could you give me 3 examples of this well-attested phenomena so that I can
> judge for myself whether it really applies here?

HH: Gen 30:38; Judges 1:22f.; Mic 4:3; 2 Kgs 25:5; Prov 11:26 for the 
first one, and Ex 6:14; Num 1:2, 4; 2 Kgs 17:29; 23:19; and 1 Sam 31:9 
for the second.
> The singular subject "God" taking a plural verb or pronoun is well-attested
> in Scripture also. (Gen 1:26; 11:7; 3:22; Isa 6:8; 41:22) Why do you say it
> is ad-hoc?

HH: Because "God" taking a plural verb is a grammatical phenomenon due 
to the plurality in the word "God." There is no such phenomenon with the 
singular word "desire."
> In Hag. 2:7, habayith hazeh, "this very house", must refer to the 2nd
> temple. How do you understand that the treasures of the nations came to the
> 2nd temple after the time of Haggai's prophecy?

HH: The word "very" is not in the Hebrew. There is one temple in view in 
the phrase "this house," and that is God's temple, whether it is the 
second or third physical building ever built to embody God's house.
> Also, shouldn't treasures "be brought", not "come" to the temple?

HH: Are you claiming that the verb "come" can't work if the subject is 

NRSV Hag. 2:7 and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of 
all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor, says 
the LORD of hosts.

HH: If you shake a mountain, it can set boulders rolling so that what is 
far from you comes near. Haggai is speaking in figures of speech:

Hag. 2:6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will 
once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

HH: Here is a somewhat comparable verse:

Is. 60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

HH: Here is a note from the NET Bible on Haggai 2:7:

Though the subject here is singular (khemdah; “desire”), the preceding 
plural predicate mandates a collective subject, “desired (things)” or, 
better, an emendation to a plural form, (khamudot, “desirable [things],” 
hence “treasures”). Cf. ASV “the precious things”; NASB “the wealth”; 
NRSV “the treasure.” In the OT context this has no direct reference to 
the coming of the Messiah.

Harold Holmyard

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