[b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 21:23 Who is cursed?

Peter Bekins pbekins at fuse.net
Wed Aug 22 19:08:35 EDT 2007

 >> As Keil and Delitzsch interprets this...

Michael, I realize you were just writing a quick note, and I know I'm  
probably being a bit of a jerk, so don't take this personally, but  
its one of my pet peeves...

Keil and Delitzsch don't interpret anything. The commentary series is  
called "Keil and Delitzsch," but each individual volume has a single  
author and technically should be cited as either Keil or Delitzsch.  
They did not collaborate so each man's ideas belong solely to  
himself. I don't remember offhand who wrote the volumes on the  
Pentateuch, but I think it was Keil. Just a quick note for all of you  
b-Hebrew listers out there if you have to write an academic paper or  
journal article.

The clue to a construct relationship is the "rat" ending on the end  
of the QLL, as one of my old professors used to say. However, this  
also tells us that it is a feminine noun, which doesn't agree  
with ‏ תָּל֑וּי‎(TFLUY). I would guess that this may be  
why Keil (let's say it is Keil) suggests that the referent is the  
land since )DMH is the only feminine noun in proximity, though I may  
be guessing wrong since I don't have the commentary in front of me.

If the construct phrase is describing the "hanged guy" it must be  
using QLL in some generic sense, and not as an adjective modifying  
TFLUY, ie "because a hanged man is an accursed-type-thing in relation  
to God". This syntax is a bit difficult because the genitive  
relationship is quite broad (it doesn't specify what the relationship  
is to the head noun) and Biblical Hebrew (which, for Yitzhak, I am  
merely using in the sense of any Hebrew that might possibly be  
contained in the bible:)) does not mark the agent of a passive.

Interestingly, Targum Onkelos translates:

‏אֲרֵי עַל דְחָב קדם יוי אִצטְלִיב‎
"because on account of sin before the Lord he was hanged"

ie, the KY clause ends at elohim, and is not the reason why you  
shouldn't leave a guy on a tree, but why he was hanged in the first  
place (I remembered to write hanged instead of hung).

Peter Bekins 

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