[b-hebrew] Physical or metaphorical offspring in Isaiah 57:4?

Bruce Meltzer bmeltzer1243 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 30 03:29:04 EDT 2007

Hi guys.  I had a question on the term "zera sheqer" used in Isaiah 57:4 which I've seen translated commonly as "seed of falsehood" (KJV and others) and alternative as "offspring of liars" (NIV) which I have been told is the correct understanding.  
  This has confused me because zera from what I understand always refers to something physical and when used in reference to a person such as Israel in this case, it is the offspring of physical people.  Looking at the Hebrew lexicon, it tells me that sheqer usually means falsehood, false, lie, lies, and one case in Proverbs, liar.  The word for liars however is shakran and is not used here.  
  So my question is, how do you derive "liars" from sheqer and how do you know this is the correct meaning instead of "offspring of falsehood" or "offspring of lies" which is what the word "sheqer" seems to suggest.  Was Isaiah referring to Israel as people descended from liars or as a metaphorical seed of falsehood?  
  I apologize if this seems like a trivial question since my knowledge of Hebrew is very sparse at best.
  - Bruce

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