[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14 - HNH

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Jul 18 18:45:31 EDT 2007


1. I agree with Harold that HINEH does not require physical presence.
2. The Hebrew "definite article" does not require the defined to be  
mentioned earlier in the discourse if he is known otherwise.
3. Virgin is a theological code word that has no correspondence in  
the Hebrew bible, and hence the discussion (ALMAH/virgin is vain.
4. Things would look and sound much better if you replace "definite  
article" by "non-arbitrary article".
5. The fact that the prophet said HA-(ALMAH [like saying HA-MALKAH]  
implies that he was referring to a known person. The rest is theology.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 17, 2007, at 12:58 PM, JoeWallack at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 7/16/2007 11:05:39 AM Central Daylight Time,
> hholmyard3 at earthlink.net writes:
> Dear  Joseph,
>> "
>> יד  לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא,    
>> לָכֶם--אוֹת:  הִנֵּה
>> הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה  וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן,   
>> וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ,
> עִמָּנוּ
>> אֵל. 14 Therefore the  Lord Himself  shall give you a sign:  
>> behold, the
> young
>> woman shall conceive,  and  bear a son, and shall call his name  
>> Immanuel.
>>  "
>> The closest Textual Marker I see here to the  offending word is:
>> הִנֵּה
>> Common  translations are "here is", "behold" and "look". For  
>> starters, BDB
>> Lexicon looks to me to give a most often usage in the Jewish Bible  
>> of  a
>> connotation of the visual as in pointing to something  physically  
>> present.
> This  is a
>> Natural combination to the use of  the definite article for the  
>> young woman
>  as
>> the picture is  Isaiah physically pointing to the young woman in the
> presence
>>  of Ahaz.
>> HNH is a relatively common word though and  has a broader meaning  
>> than the
>> physical connotation. BDB gives  the next usage category as  
>> emphasizing the
>> connotation of an  attention getting device for new information  
>> and has
>>  categorized 7:14 here (mistakenly in my opinion).
> HH: Your claim here  that HNH has to point to an event which is
> happening, rather than to one  in the imminent or even distant  
> future, is
> incorrect. Look at one of the  first references to HNH in the Bible:
> Gen. 6:13 So God said to  Noah,  “I am going to put an end to all  
> people,
> for the earth is  filled with violence because of them. I am surely  
> going
> to destroy (HNH  plus first person suffix plus Hiphil participle) both
> them and the  earth.
> The flood was some time away when God spoke these words because   
> Noah had
> not yet built the ark or collected the food and animals.   HNH can  
> refer
> to the future, especially with the so-called "futurum  instans"
> participle.  Other examples are Gen 6:17; 1 Sam 3:11; and 2  Kings  
> 7:2.
> JW:
> I did not indicate in what you quoted by me that "HNH has to point  
> to an
> event which is
> happening, rather than to one in the imminent or even distant   
> future". What
> I did indicate
> is that BDB gives a most common meaning of physically present. So  
> you have
> not
> responded to my point that physical presence is the most common  
> meaning and
> responded to a point I did not make.
> Moving forward from the definite article of 7:14 which is usually   
> translated
> as "the"
> to the surrounding Textual Markers and Context, we now have HNH at  
> the  start
> of the
> sentence which supports the Hebrew definite article here as  
> referring to a
> young
> woman who was physically present. This explains, for Peter's  
> benefit, why
> the young
> woman does not need to be named by the text. The definite article is
> primarily for the
> benefit of the Hebrew Hearer and not the reader. What is most  
> important  here
> is that
> Ahaz knows who the young woman is and not that we do.
> As HNH is supporting the definite article as meaning not only that  
> the  young
> woman was
> known to Isaiah but also Ahaz this increases the demand on the  
> surrounding
> context to
> clearly counter this conclusion if the author intended to  
> communicate a
> young woman
> that was not known to Isaiah or at least not known to Ahaz.
> Joseph Wallack
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