[b-hebrew] Psalm 8:6(5) and vav-consecutive

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Jul 26 15:31:17 EDT 2008


On Fri, Jul 25, 2008 at 8:07 PM, Steve Miller <smille10 at sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> I have 3 questions about Psalm 8:6 (v5 in English)
> And You caused him [man] to lack a little from gods and crowned him with
> glory and honor.
> I question this translation, further below.

> 1. ELOHIM is literally translated either "God" or "gods" depending on the
> context. I think the context requires "gods". because David is speaking to
> God directly. Since David is talking to God as "You" it doesn't make sense
> to say, "You lowered him a little below God". If David meant to say that,
> he
> should say, "You lowered him a little below Yourself". My question is: Does
> anyone know of any place in the Bible where someone talks to God (or
> anyone)
> in the 2nd person, and in the same sentence still addressing God, refers to
> God in the 3rd person? That lacking, I think the meaning must be "gods",
> not
> "God". Comments?
> I think the correct translation (as far as meaning) "that you made him
lacking little from being a god" where the plural "gods" is understood as
being the plural of majesty. The addition of "being" in the translation is
to bring out in English an idea implicit in Hebrew.

> 2. Does Ps 8:6 refer to God's creation of man in Gen 1:26-28 or to God's
> causing man to suffer death in Gen 3:19 & 2:16-17?
> a. Arguments in favor of Ps 8:6 referring to Gen 1:26-28 :
> i. Psalm 8:7-9 (6-8 English) clearly refer to God subjecting all things on
> earth to man in Gen 1:28. Since Psalm 8:7-9 follows v6, then what happened
> in v6 should come before God's subjecting all things under man in vv 7-9.
> This matches the sequence in Gen 1:26-28, where God created man in Gen
> 1:26-27 and subjected all things on earth to him in v28.
> ii. Would suffering death be just a "little" lack? It seems to be a big
> lack.
> Suffering and death not referenced here.

> b. Arguments in favor of Ps 8:6 referring to Gen 3:19
> i. The Piel form of the Hebrew verb CHACER means "caused to lack".

Hiphil is the causative, not piel. Piel refers to the stative, state of
being. Thus this would refer to the state of being that was man's condition
at creation.

(The translation into English may best be done in the causative, but that is
not the Hebrew.)

>> 3. Ps 8:6 starts with a vav-consecutive. But there is no previous action in
> the Psalm to follow.

Here the waw refers to the completion of an idea: verse 5, "What is man
(using a term referring to man's mortality) that you should remember him,
and a son of man (mankind) that you attend to him (in the sense of looking
after him)?" with a completion of the idea in verse 6.

>> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> -Steve Miller
> Detroit
> www.voiceInWilderness.info
> In my calling, answer Thou me,
> O God of my righteousness.
> In my trouble, You enlarged me.
> Hear my prayer, and be gracious. (Psalm 4:1)

 Karl W. Randolph.

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