[b-hebrew] actual Hebrew question about Daniel 9:25

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Sep 9 21:30:45 EDT 2006

> From: kenneth greifer Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:49 PM
> I was really hoping that someone would answer the question about the order
> of the number and nouns in Hebrew because I am confused about that.
[Steve Miller] First, I have a question for Karl: The word for weeks here in
Daniel is masculine, but the word is feminine every place else. (Except for
Lev. 2:5, where it is masculine in order to use the dual plural suffix. The
dual plural only comes in masculine.) (The Daniel usages are 9:24-26 &
10:2,3. 10:2-3 says "weeks of days" explicitly.)
I had noted that you found that when a normally masculine noun occurs in the
feminine, the feminine occurrence is an abstraction of the normal meaning of
the noun. Is there something similar for a normally feminine noun which
occurs in the masculine? Thanks.

2nd: I think Kenneth's question regarding the word order is very good. I had
not noticed that before in Dan 9. I looked up the usages of time-nouns in
Tanach. The quantity almost always precedes the noun. Most of the uses where
the quantity follows the time-noun are in Daniel. Almost all are in books
written post Babylon captivity: Chron, Ezra, Neh, & Daniel. Only one is in a
pre-captivity book: 2 Sam 1:1. The post-captivity books still use the
quantity preceding the time noun the vast majority of the usages. I did not
count instances where the quantity is "one". It is less uncommon for "one"
to follow a time-noun (i.e. Num. 11:19, 2 Kings 8:26; 2 Chron 22:2).

>From the usage, I think there is a slight difference in meaning when the
number follows the time-noun: it means that the time units are complete.
i.e. if the Tanach says "3 days" (in that word order), it could mean part of
the 1st day, a complete 2nd day, and part of the 3rd day, or it could mean 3
complete days. If it says "days 3", then it means 3 complete days.

Daniel was a very accurate, precise, consistent and logical person. That is
why I think he uses this structure far more than anyone else. 

Here are the instances of time-noun followed by quantity in Tanach:

"weeks" is only used with the quantity following it here in Dan. 9:24-26.
"months" is used only once with the number following, in:
Dan. 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom
of Babylon. (Aramaic)
Notice the word "end of".
(out of ~700 uses, but many of these don't have a modifying quantity) "days"
has the # following it in: 

2 Sam 1:1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was
returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days
in Ziklag; 2  It came even to pass on the third day, ...

1 Chron 12:39 And there they were with David three days, eating and
drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.

2 Chron 20: 25  And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the
spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead
bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more
than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the
spoil, it was so much. 26 And on the fourth day ...

29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on
the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they
sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of
the first month they made an end.

Ezra 8:15 And I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and
there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the people, and the
priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then sent I for
Eliezer ...

8:32 And we came to Jerusalem, and abode there three days. 33 Now on the
fourth day was ...

Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days. 12 And I arose in
the night, ...

Dan 1: 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us
pulse to eat, and water to drink. ...
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter
in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.

Daniel 6:7  All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the
princes, the counselors, and the captains, have consulted together to
establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall
ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he
shall be cast into the den of lions.  ...
12  Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king's
decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a
petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall
be cast into the den of lions? ... (Aramaic)

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Until two thousand and three hundred
evenings and mornings: then shall the sanctuary be vindicated.

Daniel 12:11  And from the time that the continual sacrifice is taken away,
and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand,
two hundred, and ninety days.
Daniel 12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three
hundred and thirty-five days!
(out of ~500 usages) "years" has the # following it in:

2 Chron. 11:17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam
the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the
way of David and Solomon. (has prefix le "for" attached to years)

Neh 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in
the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth
year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have
not eaten the bread of the governor.

Dan 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat,
and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the
end thereof they might stand before the king.

5:31 (6:1) And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two
years old.
-Steve Miller

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