[b-hebrew] Psalm 8:5

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri May 11 07:41:47 EDT 2007

"What is a mortal that you should remember him,
and a son of Adam that you should attend to him?"

("son of Adam" refers back to Genesis 5:3 where Seth is listed as
being in Adam's mortal, sinning image)

On 5/10/07, Philip <philipengmann at yahoo.com> wrote:
> In MT Psalm 8:5, (L) two synonyms are used: ENOWSH and ADAM.
>   Why did David use these synonyms, instead of repeating one word, say ADAM?
Sometimes merely to show off one's creativity, other times it adds to
the total picture that one wants to convey, depending on the person.

>   What was David trying to say by varying the terms?
This was common in Hebrew poetry to use similar terms, as mentioned in
earlier responses. Particularly in later, pre-exilic Hebrew the
creative use of synonyms became quite common, which makes those books
a challenge to read, as one often must stop to decipher the creative
use of language.

>   How are these synonyms different from each other if at all?
In this case, not much, though the second adds to the concept of mortality.

>   I would be interested in your views.
>   Many thanks.
>   Philip Engmann.
Karl W. Randolph.

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