[b-hebrew] Melo haGoyim

Yosef Shalom yossiyeshua at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 2 22:51:41 EST 2008


You said...

"his seed will become a filling of nations."

After comparing the hebrew melo ha-  construction with other nouns in other passages, I get the sense that an even clearer translation might be...

"his seed will fill up the nations."

Anyone have any disagreements with this?

Here is one of those examples....

Ex. 16:32  "Fill an omer [melo haOmer] of it to be kept..."

So, the word following melo and the article is the entity which will be filled up with something, and that something is, in the case of Exodus manna, and in the case of Genesis, Ephraim's seed (descendents).

>From my perspective then, I would think the english translation "his seed will become a multitude of nations" is not too exact. It's not that Ephraim's seed will become the goyim, but that his seed will fill up the goyim with itself. Perhaps the "becoming a multitude of nations" can be seen as a secondary result, but all that is literally given in the text is that the seed would fill up the nations with itself.

Understood in this way, I think a better fulfillment of this prophecy is found in looking at the eventual fate of the northern kingdom of Israel that would eventually be called "Ephraim" as a whole. These 10 tribes were exiled into the nations, never to come back as Judah would from Babylon. These tribes were "seeded" into the nations, and thus "filled them up."

Joseph Simpson
New York

K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote: Joseph:
Would not the literal translation be "his seed will become a filling of
nations"? And in that Ephraim's descendants were split between filling
nations on both sides of the Jordan, was that not fulfilled?

Karl W. Randolph.

On Jan 2, 2008 11:00 AM, Yosef Shalom  wrote:

> I have a question about translating a phrase here in this verse...
>  Gen 48:19  "And his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know. He
> also shall become a people, and he also shall be great, but truly his
> younger brother shall be greater than he is, and his seed shall become a
> multitude of nations."
> The phrase 'multitude of nations' here is in Hebrew 'melo haGoyim' and the
> verb is yhyeh.
>  Is the literal meaning here that Ephraim's seed would BE FILLED UP with a
> multitude of nations, or that his seed would become, ie, transformed into a
> multitude of nations.
>  I'm not quite sure about the word 'multitude' since that denotes simply a
> large number, where as 'melo' seems to gives us more, ie a large quantity
> within another entity, filling that up.
> Thanks,
> Joseph Simpson
> New York
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