[b-hebrew] yorenu (again) in Sanhedrin 105

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 30 13:00:13 EDT 2008

> Thanks much to Harold, Yigal, Yitzhak and Isaac for all the help. The 
> "nun energicum" is what I was missing.
> It had seemed to me that the Sanhedrin passage is playing off this nun 
> in order to change "teach him" (in /Isaiah/) into "teach us" ("us" being 
> the Israelites who answer "the prophet" in Rabbah b. bar Hana's 
> parable). This was the Soncino reading; but the Schottenstein 
> translation has "teach IT" (the yetzer hara' in the parable) -- and, 
> appropriately as per Yitzhak's information, puts a dagesh in the nun of 
> the Talmudic text as well. (I am assuming that the dagesh's are later 
> additions to the Talmudic text as well as the Biblical, so that Soncino 
> and Schottenstein can decide where to put their dagesh's in the Talmud. 
> Correct? Or is there an "official" Masoretic Talmud?)
> But what both translations agree on is to say "LET his God teach 
> [him/us]" rather than simply, "His God will teach [him/us]". This fits 
> in with a reading of the passage that takes the Israelites as being 
> defiant or rebellious, and thus resisting the teaching, or at least 
> taking no responsibility for controlling themselves. What interests me 
> is an alternative reading, in which the Israelites would be saying, in a 
> more positive manner, "His God WILL teach us." So what I want to know 
> is, is there any grammatical basis for deciding this? If you set out to 
> translate the two English sentences ("Let him teach us", "He will teach 
> us") into (Biblical) Hebrew, what would you come up with to distinguish 
> them?

Sanhedrin 105 seems to translate the verse the way modern translations do:

For he doth chastise him to discretion, and his God doth teach him.16  
Rabbah b. Bar Hana said: The prophet urged Israel, 'Return and repent.' 
They replied, 'We cannot: the Tempter17  rules over us. He said to them, 
'Curb your [evil] desires.' They replied, 'Let His God teach us.'18

 Isa. XXVIII, 26. (E.V. For his God doth instruct him to discretion and 
doth teach him.)

HH: The "E.V." cited in the footnote corresponds to the KJV:

KJV: Is. 28:26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth 
teach him.

HH: But the text cited in the Talmud itself also corresponds to typical 
translations. Rabbah b. Bar Hana takes it differently, but is he serious 
or playing with words? For what do you do with the first half of the 
verse, where the object is clearly 3ms.

Harold Holmyard

> thanks again,
> Gabe Eisenstein
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