[b-hebrew] Isaiah 13:15 - every one that is joined (unto them) shall fall by the sword

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Sat May 26 21:25:49 EDT 2007

Dear Steven,
> Question on the following verse.
> Isaiah 13:15  (KJB)
> Every one that is found shall be thrust through; 
> and every one that is joined (unto them) shall fall by the sword. 
> Modern translations often have "captured" instead of "joined" in this verse for 
> HPS - saphah  -(Stongs 5595)
> =========================
> Yet this is not supported by Rashi, whose interpretation is much closer to the traditional KJB reading.
> http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=15944&showrashi=true
> Judaica Press
> "Everyone who is found shall be stabbed, and anyone who takes refuge shall fall by the sword."
> Rashi
> "Everyone who is found outside, shall be stabbed. and anyone who takes refuge with the people of the city to be included with them in the siege, shall fall by the sword when the city capitulates...."
> ===========================================
> And John Gill gives Hebraic support and indicates the Greek OT agrees with the traditional translation.
> http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/isaiah/gill/isaiah13.htm
> and everyone that is joined [unto them] shall fall by the sword; 
> "added" unto them; any of other nations that joined them as auxiliaries ... or "that is gathered"; so the Septuagint, "they that are gathered"; that are gathered together in a body to resist the enemy, and defend themselves. 
> =======================================
> Nor does Gesenius give "capture" as a meaning. (He goes in his own direction.)
> http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H05595&Version=kjv
> ========================================
> Early LATIN, GREEK, ARAMAIC translations
> Lamsa from the Aramaic (2nd century) also goes in his own direction .. 
> "and everyone that escapes shall fall by the sword"
> Latin Vulgate (400 AD)
> omnis qui inventus fuerit occidetur et omnis qui supervenerit cadet in gladio 
> In the Douay-Rheims this is not remotely "captured"
> Every one that shall be found, shall be slain: 
> and every one that shall come to their aid, 
> shall fall by the sword. 
> Gill has the Targum as
> "everyone that enters into the fortified cities," flees there for safety and protection.
> And the Greek OT (Brenton)
> "For whosoever shall be taken shall be overcome;
>  and they that are gathered together shall fall by the sword. 
> So none of the major early-translation languages
> appear to give "captured" any support whatsoever, nor Rashi.  
> Does it have any early support in any manner ?
> Or is it just a recent translation 'discovery' ?
> ========================================
> And saphah is used as "add" or "augment" in a number of other verses,
> and is given as a dictionary definition (Biblical an modern)
> - which in this context is analogous to "join".
> So can you please help explain the modern movement to "capture" in this verse.  
> Perhaps explain some of the grammatical issues as well, and your contextual thoughts. 

HH: There is a verb that means "join," but it is SPX (samek, peh, heth), 
not what this verse has: SPH (samek, pe, he). The two verbs look very 
similar, so perhaps there was some ancient confusion, with someone 
reading Heth instead of He.

BBD lists SPH as meaning "snatch away, sweep away, catch up." It gives 
"be caught up, captured" for Isa 13:15. That dictionary (BDB) was done 
in 1906, with a re-editing in 1951. HAL (done in 1994-2000) has for this 
verb in the Niphal: "be carried away, carried off, snatched."In Mishnaic 
Hebrew the word meant "divide, (of a disease) carry off someone." In 
Jewish Aramaic, Samaritan, and Syriac it meant "collect, annihilate." In 
Jewish Aramaic also it meant "perish." In Jewish Aramaic and Mandean: 
"to be frightened." In Arabic: "to remove dust and carry it away." In 
Old South Arabic: "to destroy."

There does not seem to be any controversy in the translations and 
commentaries I've checked.

Harold Holmyard

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