[b-hebrew] Where Is Jacob's Ladder?
dwashbur at nyx.net
dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Nov 9 15:21:22 EST 2007
On 9 Nov 2007 at 14:51, JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:
> Dave Washburn:
> You wrote: "Here we go again; I did not say this. I mentioned that the
> Masoretic pointing was somewhat at odds with your translation, nothing more. I
> also pointed out that, with or without the pointing, the grammar of the
> clause supports the translation "a certain place" which you reject. Hence, your
> view is at odds with the actual grammar of the passage. NOTHING is based on
> "reliance on the medieval Masoretic pointing system." It's based on grammar,
> nothing more, nothing less."
> I feel very bad that I seem to have misrepresented what you said. My
> apologies again.
> Could you please explain to me the basis for the following key contention of
> "[T]he grammar of the clause supports the translation 'a certain place'...."
> I am obviously missing something here. Are we looking at the same Hebrew
> letters? Or am I missing the significance of one Hebrew letter in the text?
> Why "a certain place", instead of "a place"?
Because this is how biblical Hebrew indicated such a thing. See under Speiser below.
> I note that Young's Literal Translation oddly puts the word "certain" in
> "and he toucheth at a [certain] place"
Yes, because it's not explicit in the text. But Hebrew didn't say "a certain place" that way.
> Most translations do in fact say "a certain place". The JPS1917, which is
> often the best translation, instead says "the place".
> E.A. Speiser says: "a certain place. The attribute is implicit in the d
> efinite article of Heb."
> What am I missing here? Is the B considered a definite article here? Why?
> And if so, why "a certain place" rather than "the place"?
No, the patach under the B indicates the assimilated definite article. I didn't go there
because you've already said you reject the pointing. At the same time, you must have some
kind of pronunciation pattern, so whether it's the Masoretic or something else is pretty much
academic. Karl reads unpointed text as well, but I suspect he probably reads a definite
article here, as well. He can correct me on that if I'm wrong, because I'm essentially
guessing :-) It's the difference between B'MAQOM and BAMAQOM, whether you actually
notate it or not. Basically, the literary meaning is "THE place [that we're going to talk about
in this part of the story]. It's better English idiom, and hence more readable for the average
English reader, to say "a certain place."
OTOH, if you eliminate the definite article, you have "a place [which is where this story
happens], which again amounts to "a certain place" in good English. The difference is one
of focus: with the article, the place is something prominent, as in this case; without the
article, it's just a place for the prominent events to take place. Does that clear it up?
> My guess is that maybe I am not the only one confused about this. Could you
> please explain the grammatical rule that suggests, but apparently does not
> mandate, adding the word "certain" before the word "place" in Genesis 28: 11?
I hope I've answered your question.
> I am sorry that I have not yet understood the precise grammatical point you
> are making. I did not mean to misrepresent what you said.
Accepted and forgiven.
As a French hippie might say, "Je ne creuse pas!"
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