[b-hebrew] Qoheleth 7:27

Peter Bekins pbekins at fuse.net
Sun Mar 16 21:30:29 EDT 2008

On Mar 15, 2008, at 1:20 PM, b-hebrew-request at lists.ibiblio.org wrote:

> I am working on Ecclesiastes 7:27, which uses two feminine  
> adjectives 'echadh (not sure what transliteration scheme to use  
> here).  Is anyone aware of an independant usage of the feminine  
> adjective to refer to something that is grammatically masculine?   
> In other words, my inclination is to translated this as "I compared  
> one woman to another in order to find an explanation/conclusion.
> If you have some concrete examples that this should be translated  
> as a neuter one thing to another thing, I would be interested in  
> the verses.
> I do not have any theological axe to grind here, but want to  
> reflect what Solomon really meant.
> Thanks in advance,
> Ron Snider,
> Pastor-teacher

As Ken replied, it is quite common in Semitic languages to use the  
feminine adjective for a generic "thing" (technically I wouldn't call  
it a neuter since neither Hebrew nor English have neuters). I just  
happened to be reading tonight and found a quite clear example with  
אחת )XT from the first part of Psalm 27:4:

‏ אַחַ֤ת ׀ שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי  
מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ

One thing I ask from the Lord, it I will seek...

Pete Bekins

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