[b-hebrew] Haggai 2:7 and Isaiah 41:22

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Nov 20 10:48:45 EST 2006

kenneth greifer wrote:
> Steve Miller wrote an email on November 19 about Haggai 2:7 having a 
> singular noun "desire" used with a plural verb and the word "us" in Isaiah 
> 41:22 being about G-d.
> Can't Haggai 2:7 be the plural "desires" or "desired things" the way it is 
> spelled?

HH: The Masoretic pointing suggests a singular to the grammarians. Since 
you are not "that educated," you need to accept their judgment.

>  Do all plural nouns (feminine) have to have the vav and tav at the 
> end written out to show the word is plural? Aren't the desired things the 
> silver and gold mentioned next? I know this was all discussed before, but 
> honestly it was a little too difficult for me to understand since I am not 
> that educated like other people on this list. I need an easier explanation, 
> if possible.

HH: Hebrew grammarians also say that the singular can indicate a plural 
idea here, either as a collective singular or as repointed to a plural 
according to the Greek OT.
> Also about the "us" in Isaiah 41:22, couldn't that be about the isles and 
> people G-d said to come near and talk and make a decision in Isaiah 41:1? 
> Isaiah 41:5 discusses how the isles make idols, so G-d wants them to tell 
> the future in Isaiah 41:21-22, so G-d, the isles, and the peoples of Isaiah 
> 41:1 can decide if the idols are real gods or not.

HH: Yes, you're right that Isa 41:22 can include others besides God in 
speaking of "us." Thanks for pointing out this fact. The preceding and 
following verses both suggest that limiting "us" to God would be unwise. 
Earlier verses suggest that others besides God are thinking about what 
either God or the idols will do:

Is. 41:19 I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle 
and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the 
cypress together,
Is. 41:20 so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, 
that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has 
created it.

HH: And a subsequent verse suggests that the reaction comes from others 
besides God, since it might be inappropriate for God to be afraid of 
somebody else:

Is. 41:23 tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are 
gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and 
filled with fear.

Harold Holmyard

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