[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14

JoeWallack at aol.com JoeWallack at aol.com
Sat Jul 14 19:31:19 EDT 2007


In a message dated 7/10/2007 1:17:27 PM Central Daylight Time,  
peter at qaya.org writes:

JW:> ... In order to try and  
> avoid this  contingency let me try to speed things up here. Regarding the  
>  offending word of 7:14 and with Apologies to Isaac Fried, you and I agree  
that  
> the Hebrew Definite article is used. My position is that  for starters this 
 
> indicates a defnite and therefore, known  person to the Hebrew speaker, 
Isaiah. ...

PQ:I agree with your  exegesis.
JW:
The Hebrew definite article normally indicates a person known to the  Hebrew 
speaker. This is a Translation consideration and not Exegesis.  Specifically 
here, Isaiah, the user of the definite article, would be Implied to  know the 
identity underlying the use of the Definite article which is useful for  
Context. Still a Translation issue. Of course other specifics could indicate  that 
Isaiah did not know the identity.
 

JW:

> ... At 
> this point, whether or not this known  person is known to the Hebrew 
hearer, I 
>  say that "the" is the  likely English translation. ...

PQ:I disagree with your conclusions for  the best English translation. In 
English "this" would probably be used for  a known person who has not 
previously been referred to, at least  implicitly. If "the" is used when 
no such person has been previously  referred to, even implicitly, the 
only possible meaning is the generic  one, in this case a reference to 
all young women.


JW:
"This" has a connotation of Selection as oppossed to "the". There is no  
context in 7:14 regarding the selection of this young woman from the category of  
available young women. This is why, as far as I know, nobody is translating  
"this" here. "This" would be, as the ancient British Knight said in "The Last  
Crusade", "chose poorly". 
 
As I previously indicated by numerous examples, "the" can establish the  
context all by itself. I picked up the cat. I took the bus. You missed the bus  
here. 
 
As we proceed to other issues we will get into a Tale wagging the Dogma  
issue. Do we let the specific word used establish the context or do we let the  
context translate the word. 
 
PQ: "If "the" is used when 
no such person has been previously referred  to, even implicitly, the 
only possible meaning is the generic one, in this  case a reference to 
all young women."

JW:
You are creating a lot of distance here between what you write and what I  
consider to be good translation considerations. You could top this though by  
once again claiming that the previous is not proof-texting. Anyway, as I  
consider the use of the definite article as probably the most objective  
consideration regarding what the English translation should be, and we have such  
disagreement on what its value is here, I'm pessimistic regarding agreement on  more 
subjective issues. 
 
 
 
Joseph Wallack
 
 



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