[b-hebrew] help with Ezekiel 32:21

Yonah Mishael yonahmishael at gmail.com
Wed Sep 27 18:22:11 EDT 2006

When this thread first began, I immediately thought it had been
misquoted because איל )YL seems so much more likely. So, I started to
respond to the original post without even looking it up because it
seemed so unnatural to say אלי גבורים )LY GBWRYM. After I looked up
the verse, however, I just deleted my writing and never responded. It
just seems more natural to me that it would read otherwise. I kinda
like Karl's revision of the vowelization to say "unto me." It just
doesn't seem to make sense with the vowels as they are. I will have to
spend more time with the context, but that is definitely my initial
feeling on the subject.


On 9/27/06, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/27/06, kgraham0938 at comcast.net wrote:
> >
> > @Yitzhak:
> >
> > Thanks alot I appreciate it, the only problem I have is that the apparatus
> > of BHS says many manuscripts have 'ayil' here as opposed to 'el.  And it
> > seems to me that 'el going into 'eley is not impossible but pretty rare if
> > in the Hebrew bible.  I have not found one other example of 'el going into
> > plural construct, but that is not to say it is impossible and I have not
> > checked other outside sources but it seems that 'ayil would be the better
> > rendering.
> You are right, it doesn't occur anywhere else.
> However, there are various reasons to think that it is the plural of 'el and not
> 'ayil.
> Joshua Fox, a linguist, reconstructs the word )ayil from PS *)ayyal, "ibex,
> mountain goat."  I guess )ayil derives *)ayyal > *)ayyl > *)ayil, where the last
> vowel first drops and the geminated yy takes it place first as )ay-yl and later
> it degrades into a vowel.  The significance of all this is that the -y- in )ayil
> is a geminated root letter in its origin.  I doubt it would be lost.
> It's true that )eley never appears as a construct of )el.  But neither does it
> appear as the plural of )ayil.  The plural of )ayil is generally (this example
> excluded) )eyley.  Take for example Ex 15:15.  Here )eyley is parallel with
> )aluwfey, which is very fitting.  Both )ayil and )alp refer to strong beasts
> that in turn are used to denote the leaders of a community.  In this text,
> the -y- of )eyley appears, even though this text generally uses spellings
> that are defective such as )elim in Ex 15:10.   This underscores the
> point about the -y- being a consonantal root letter made earlier.
> The word )el is a very unique word. It is the only two-root letter PS word that
> Fox reconstructs as a masculine and yet its vowel is not reconstructed
> as dropped in construct cases (compare ben "son", bni "my son", $em
> "name", $mi "my name").  It is also used, besides for "god" as a general
> term for "power" or "strength" as in Genesis 31:29.  Furthermore, this is
> a special case, speaking of the ")el"s that will speak out from Sheol.  It is
> by its very nature a supernatural scenario.  This would suggest that the
> word with a more supernatural meaning - )el - may be the one intended
> here.
> More interesting than that comment in the apparatus of BHS is the
> comment I see in the HUB that in the Greek, verse 19 is displaced and
> placed immediately after Sheol in this verse.  The HUB refers to two
> Medieval manuscripts (of the five it normally examines for possible
> differences) that have )yly, one of them as an initial spelling that was
> later corrected (to ")ly" I suppose).  I don't think that is sufficient
> reason to correct the MT's spelling.  The Septuagint, apparently reads
> ")lh" and not ")ly".  But it doesn't read a middle -y-:
> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/gopher/text/religion/biblical/parallel/44.Ezekiel.par
> Yitzhak Sapir
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Yonah Mishael ben Avraham
Joplin, MO
yonahmishael at gmail.com

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