[b-hebrew] Definite Article 7:14 - HNH H()LMY

JoeWallack at aol.com JoeWallack at aol.com
Fri Jul 27 12:47:01 EDT 2007

In a message dated 7/24/2007 1:33:54 PM Central Daylight Time,  
hholmyard3 at earthlink.net writes:

Dear  Joseph,
>> " הָרָה " = "is pregnant"  
>> This is the perfect  tense.
> HH: It is not  the perfect  tense.
> הָרָה HRH is not even a verb but an  adjective. The verb has to be  
> and could be either  present or future (or  past).
" הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה "
You agree that " הָרָה " can be either a noun/adjective or verb in  BH?

>  JW:
> First, do you agree that BH has perfect and imperfect  distinction?

HH: Sure, that's what the  grammars teach.

In the words of Inspector Clouseau, "Now we are getting  somewhere!"

> HH: Here is another  issue with your thought process. If you put  these 
> together, you would  have:
> "Here is the  virgin is pregnant." That makes no sense. So you  better 
> stick  with "Behold" for your theory.
> JW:
> You are being remarkably  restrictive for such a compact language.

HH: It is a compact  language.
What would BH require for "Here is the young woman who is/that is  pregnant"?

>  "Here is  
> the young woman that is  pregnant". "Here is the pregnant young woman". No 
>  As Kohan  said in the classic, "The Wrath of Kohan", your translation 
>  be  "far worse". What is your translation here again?
> Actually "Behold" & "Look" have a connotation of pysical  presence  anyway, 
> don't they. 

HH: I  was granting that "behold" could possibly support your theory, I 
have more  difficulty with "here is" but in either case one has to supply 
the verb for  two ideas, pregnancy (adjective) and birth (participle). 
The word HNH goes  with both since the participle depends on the earlier 
noun "young woman" to  supply the subject of the participle. The verb to 
be supplied with the birth  is evidently future, so I find it hard to 
think that the reader or hearer is  expected to supply a different verb 
for the adjective. If there were such a  differentiation, I would expect 
the speaker to provide the verbs. But since  both concepts flow from HNH, 
I expect that if one calls for a future verb,  so will the other. Could 
you say, "Here is the young woman pregnant and  giving birth to a son, 
and she will call his name Immanuel." Yes, you could  say that, but it 
would be a strange way to talk since no mention of a young  woman being 
pregnant and giving birth to a son has been previously  introduced.  Do 
we want to say that this idea is supposed to be  understood, just as we 
are assuming the presence of a known young woman in  the group?

What exactly is your translation and why is the above not a problem for  it?

HH: I have given quite a bit of reasoning in support  of my position. I 
have an online article on the passage if you want to look  at it.
As George Costanza said to Jerry Signfeld after Jerry told him to  stop
giving him a hard time because he wouldn't be able to go through with it 
with the two young woman either, "I know."
HH: It's not exactly on this issue of the definite article  though.


>  I point out what is most common and you respond in part with "carries no  
> argumentative weight for Isa 7:14, at least for me." Further  response  from
> me would involve primarily commenting on the  relationship of the  evidence
> to your conclusion which distracts  from my primary purpose of the 
> relationship of the evidence to THE  conclusion.

HH: I am trying to come to the place  where my conclusion is THE 
conclusion, that is, the way Isaiah intended the  words to be understood.
I'll remember this.

> Suffice it to say that at this  point with:
> H
> there is nothing which favors your  translation.

HH: My posts have given a great deal of  evidence from grammarians and 
translations. You are free to hold your own  view since I am not dogmatic 
about this. You would be free even if I were  dogmatic.
I appreciate your charity in granting me my position. Unfortunately, I lack 
the Grace to grant you yours.

> Continuing:
>  _http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/isa7.pdf_ 
>  (http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/isa7.pdf) 
> _http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1007.htm_ 
>  (http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1007.htm) 
>  "
>  יד  לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא, לָכֶם--אוֹת:    הִנֵּה 
> הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן, וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ,  
>  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  
> "
> "  וְקָרָאת  " = and you will call
> This is second person feminine  right?

HH: It can be a third person singular as well.
But usually second person feminine right?

>  As in "you" referring to a present  
>  female. Yes, I know, "Does not  necessarily", "it could". But it's   
> support for a present female or neutral for your desired   translation
> whatever that may currently be.

HH: The possibility that the verb could be second person singular is a  
fact. It does not affect the issue because a third person interpretation  
is also possible. See #GKC #74g. Actually, the lexicons parse it as  
third person singular, both HALOT and BDB.
Of course it effects the issue. If Isaiah used a word that usually  means
2nd person feminine, it is direct evidence of physical presence. I  concede
though that most translations generally use 3rd person here. 
Moving on:

יד  לָכֵן  יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא,  לָכֶם--אוֹת:  הִנֵּה 
הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה   וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן, וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ, 
אֵל. 14 Therefore the  Lord  Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the 
woman shall conceive,  and  bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Since this part of the prophecy predicts that a son will be born and  called
"Immanuel" the BH Hearer of the prophecy would need to know the 
specific woman in order to determine prophecy fulfillment. The  Implication
is that the BH Hearer knows the specific identity at this point since  no
other information is provided that would subsequently identify the  woman
or child to the BH Hearer. 
In summary, to this point, the BH question is was the young woman of
7:14 known to Ahaz? We have the following Textual Markers:
HNH - Usually denotes a physical presence = Yes (the young woman was  
probably known)
H - The Hebrew Definite Article. [understatement] Usually denotes the  
definite [/understatement] = Yes
HRH - If Verb - Perfect tense = Yes
          If Adjective - Tense  by context = Neutral
QR)T - Usually 2nd person feminine (you) = Yes
(MNW )L - A definite name = Yes
Every Textual Marker either indicates that the young woman was known to  Ahaz 
or is Neutral. 
There is no Textual Marker indicating that the young woman was not known to  
Ahaz. Therefore,
Context can not overturn the evidence of the Textual Markers and indicate  it 
likely that the
young woman was not known to Ahaz. The most context could do would be to  
create contrary
evidence on the subject. 
Joseph Wallack

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