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

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Mon Jul 28 23:38:41 EDT 2008


> From: K Randolph
> 
> Steve:
> 
> 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"?
> >
> KR: 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.

[Steve Miller] Yes, waw often is a subordinating conjunction like "that",
but as far as I know, a vav-consecutive never is - and there are many
thousands of instances of them. Vav-consecutive is also called
vav-conversive or wayyiqtol. The sentence starts with an imperfect verb
prefixed with a waw, usually with a patach vowel under it, similar to the
way a definite article is indicated when a noun has a prefix. It means that
the action takes place after the previous action. It is extremely common in
narrative. It's meaning is "and (then)" or "and (so)". Isa 53:2 is not a
vav-consecutive. Neither is Gen 1:2 which you ref later, but all the
following sentence-starting waw's are vav-consecutives except for 1:6b until
you get to 2:5. 

> 
> 
> > 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.
> >
> KR; 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.
[Steve Miller] OK
> 
> 
> > >
> > >
> > > > 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.
> > >
> >
> KR: 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.
[Steve Miller] This one came out ok. Are you using Linux?
> 
> 
> > >
> > > > 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.
> >
> > >
> >
> KR: 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.

[Steve Miller] I agree. David refs man after the fall in v5(4). And he
references the status man had b4 the fall in vv6b-7. Now v6a "And then You
caused him to lack ..." connects the 2. Considering David's choice of verb,
"You caused him to lack" rather than "You made him" or "You created him", is
it not possible that v6a refers to God's sentence on man after the fall
rather than His creation of man? 
> 
> 
> > >
> > > > .
> > > > 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
> >
> KR: 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.

[Steve Miller] covered above

Thanks again.
-Steve Miller
Detroit





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