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

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jul 27 21:57:41 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: K Randolph
> Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 3:31 PM
> To: b-hebrew
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Psalm 8:6(5) and vav-consecutive
> Steve:
> 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.
> >
> > KR: 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?
> >
> > KR: I think the correct translation (as far as meaning) "that you made
> 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.

[Steve Miller] Karl, thanks for answering.
I think your translation is good except for "little" instead of "a little",
and translating the vav-consecutive as "that". Is there any other place
where a vav-consecutive should be translated as "that" or "for"?

Since Stephen pointed out the significant difference between "a little" and
"little" in English, it seems to me that the Hebrew word me'at means "a
little" rather than "little". For example, the 1st usage is:
Genesis 18:4  Let now a little water be fetched, that ye may wash your feet,
and rest yourselves under the tree. 
There are 100 usages in the Bible, and I did not look at all usages. But "a
little" seems to always work, whereas "little" without the indefinite
article would be a problem in many verses.

> > 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.
> >
> > KR: Suffering and death not referenced here.

[Steve Miller] Karl, when you reply, the 1st line of your answer is coming
out with a ">" in front of it. So it looks like it's part of the original
message and not your reply. When you have a multi-line answer, it's no
problem, but when your reply is only one line, I would have missed it. You
should probably hit ENTER before typing your responses.
> > 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.)
[Steve Miller] Thank you. This is a good definition. But it could just as
well refer to the state of man's being after the fall.

> > .
> > 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.

[Steve Miller] If your explanation of the vav-consecutive here agrees with
the data, then that is excellent. Do you have any other examples where a
vav-consecutive means what you say it does here?

Also thanks for pointing out that Enosh refers to man's mortality. Wouldn't
that point to after-the-fall?

Thank you.
-Steve Miller

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