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

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jul 10 22:56:02 EDT 2007

> From: Harold Holmyard
> Dear Steve,
> >> [Karl]:
> >> This is where the understanding of the -MW suffix comes into play: 1)
> >> does it always refer to the plural and 2) does it always refer to the
> >> third person? The answer to both is "No". Just because it is appended
> >> onto the L- prefix does not change its uses. And as I stated before,
> >> one of its purposes is to refer back to the subject of the sentence
> >> and/or context.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > [Steve Miller] Karl, This is a good argument if the facts back you up.
> > Please give me some other Hebrew words with the -MW suffix, so I can see
> if
> > your #1) and #2) points above hold.
> HH; I don't know about Karl's second point, but on the first one let me
> cite John Oswalt's commentary on Isaiah 40-66 (NICOT) as it looks at Isa
> 53:8 in footnote 16 (p. 390):
>  MT LeMo would usually be translated "(belonging) to them." But Ps 11:7
> and Job 22:2 show that the suffix can be taken as a singular, as the
> Syriac and Vulgate have it here. LXX has "he was led to death" (LeMoT?),
> on the basis off which many commentators (e.g. Whybray) have adopted "he
> was stricken to death." But the LXX reading is made suspect by the
> tendency of this version to give creative readings for difficult MT
> passages in this composition (as also do the Syr. and Vulg.).
> HH: Oswalt translates the verse in literalistic fashion: "From
> oppression and from judgment he was taken, and his generation, who has
> considered it? For he was cut off from the land of the living, from the
> transgressions of my people the blow is his.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

[Steve Miller] Thanks Harold. 
These 2 verses do not show me that the -MW suffix can refer to an

Ps 11:7 ... The upright will behold His face.
PNYMW refers to the face of God. God can take a plural pronoun (Gen 1:26;
11:7; 3:22; Isa 6:8). This is the only occurrence of PNYMW in the Tanach
(searching for the exact consonant spelling). 

Job 22:2 ... For he that is wise is profitable unto himself. 
(LYMW here does refer to an individual. In Hebrew the 3ms can be the
indefinite pronoun, best translated as "they" in English, (As Matthew did of
Isa 7:14 DSS in Matt 1:23). Job 22:2 could be translated "For they that are
wise are profitable to themselves." 
(LYMW is used 11 times in the Tanach. None refer to an individual.

-Steve Miller

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