[b-hebrew] Dan 9:27b and shomem

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Wed May 23 10:18:47 EDT 2007

Dear Anthony,
> Could anyone comment on the verb "shomem" in Dan. 9:27? Strictly the 
> base form of the verb, shamem, is stative and we would expect to 
> transate "the desolated one" (passive) rather than desolator. But in 
> 12:11 we seem to have shomem in an active sense and also in 8:13. Can 
> anyone decide what is the best rendering of shomem in Dan 9:27b? 
> desolator, or the desolate (KVJ, ie desolated one).
> At any event, shomem would have to refer to a person and not the 
> city, which is feminine?
You have presented evidence that can help answer your own question. Dan 
12:11 seems to show that the Qal participle "shomem," modifying 
"shiqqutz" ("abomination"), can have the same sense as the Piel 
participle "meshomem," since an abomination would not itself be 
"desolate" or "astonished," the two ideas that the Qal participle has 
elsewhere. And in 11:31 "shiqqutz" is modified by the Piel participle 
"meshomem," which has an active sense of "desolating." The word 
"meshomem" in Dan 9:27 may refer to a single abomination that causes 
desolation, one that follows on the wing of other abominations. Some 
take it of the prince ("nagid") as "he comes desolating." The Qal 
particple likewise could refer to "one who causes desolation." Yes, the 
participle could refer to "a desolated one" or "one who is astonished" 
by a determined end that is poured out on him, but the active sense in 
12:11 also seems appropriate here. I believe there are a number of verbs 
that have both a stative and transitive meaning in the Qal, with ML) 
being an example. The form "male'"is stative in form as a participle, 
but it can have both transitive (Jer 23:24) or stative ( Isa 51:20) meaning.

So if the verb "shomem" can have either sense, it is a question of which 
is the best in the context of Daniel 9:27. I do not have enough time to 
study that now, but I see that a number of recent translations have 
taken the active (transitive) sense for the participle (though I don't 
necessarily agree with the translations in other respects):

NET Bible: On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys,
until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”

NRSV: He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for 
half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in 
their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed 
end is poured out upon the desolator.”

NIV: He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle 
of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a 
wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes 
desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

HCSB: He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the 
middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the 
abomination will be on a wing o the temple until the decreed destruction 
is poured out on the desolator.

Harold Holmyard

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