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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 21:52:12 EDT 2008


On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 6:57 PM, Steve Miller <smille10 at sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> [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"?
> One example that I can think of off hand is Isaiah 53:2, the last word
starts with a waw which is best translated as "that". It is found often
enough that I have not made a list of occurrences.

> 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.
> Wait a minute, we're discussing Hebrew, not English nor translation. Hebrew
morphology doesn't have a difference between "little" and "a little", and
even in English, sometimes the difference is significant, sometimes not. I
wouldn't make a big issue of it.

> >
> >
> > > 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?
> > >…
> [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.
> >
I do, and on my mail server it is formed correctly. But when it comes back
from you, it is wrong. I don't know why.

> >
> > > 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.
> >
I found this interesting, even as I reread the Psalm with your questions in
mind. First David references man after the fall, as "mortals" showing how
insignificant man is, then in the following verse makes reference to the
glory that man had before the fall, possibly considering also the glory that
will be given to man in the resurrection at the end of days.

> >
> > > .
> > > 3. Ps 8:6 starts with a vav-consecutive. But there is no previous
> action n 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
> Detroit
> I thought that was one of the basic uses of the waw was the completion of a
narration, or when dealing with ideas, the completion of the idea, already
starting with Genesis 1:2. The example from Isaiah 53:2 above also
illustrates this question.
Karl W. Randolph.

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