[b-hebrew] Object of "lamo" in Isaiah 53

Vadim Cherny vadimcherny at mail.ru
Thu Jul 5 13:17:50 EDT 2007

lamo, as other prepositions, normally refers to the closest logically 
acceptable noun. Unless there is an overwhelming reason to relate 
preposition to a remote noun, the closest noun is your best bet.
In Isaiah 53:8, lamo likely refers to ami, my people. Strictly speaking, 
lamo could also relate to "him," the suffering servant; transposition is 
possible. Preference is only a matter of interpretation.

Vadim Cherny

> The term "mi pesha ami nega lamo" in Isaiah 53:8 is usually translated as: 
> "from the transgressions of my people, a plague befell them (lamo)."  The 
> "them" is usually understood to be the servant i.e. Israel.  However, I've 
> seen a few people suggest that this refers to the Gentiles or nation 
> rather than the servant.
> Grammatically speaking how plausible is this rendition over the 
> conventional one? Does the servant as the object of lamo come from the 
> context of Isaiah 53 (verses 53:4, 53:10 describing his illness) or is it 
> inferred based on the syntax of the verse alone?
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