[b-hebrew] 1 Kings 8:27 - how much less this house that I have builded (interrogative)

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 24 11:15:53 EST 2010


Hi, Steven,

Merry Christmas to you!
>
> In this verse:
>
> 1 Kings 8:27 (KJB)
> But will God indeed dwell on the earth?
> behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee;
> how much less this house that I have builded?
>
> We have a double interrogative in the AV.
>
> There is a parallel verse in 2 Chronicles where this is exclamatory in 
> the AV.
>
> 2 Chronicles 6:18 (KJB)
> But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?
> behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee;
> how much less this house which I have built! 

> Webster and Lamsa have the same distinction, however they are more 
> likely to be AV influenced.
> Yet most modern versions only have the single interrogative in the 1 
> Kings verse.
>

>
> There are differences in the Hebrew of the verses as a whole which 
> might change the flow of the sentence, or there could be a more direct 
> marker.  And there are also the issue of the exact Masoretic Text 
> manuscripts used, and their various marks.  Any help understanding the 
> Hebrew difference that is unto the interrogative will be much 
> appreciated.  Keep in mind that Rotherdam would be using the 
> pre-Kittel text, which would be a Ginsburg (Ben Hayim) text, similar 
> to the AV text rather than the Kittel 3rd-edition and later standard.

HH: There are no significant differences to alter the translation. The 
difference between AV Kings and Chronicles was probably a translator's 
choice, since there can be questions in Hebrew without a specific 
grammatical marker. There is the phrase "with men" in 2 Chronicles 6:18 
that 1 Kings 8:27 does not have, but interestingly, the LXX of 1 KIngs 
8:27 adds the phrase there. The Chronicles text is missing a definite 
article before the first "heavens," but the BHS editors think that it 
has simply dropped out of the text due to haplography, since the same 
letter "H" ends the previous word. That seems likely, since otherwise 
there is grammatical inconsistency.

HH: Some modern translations have a double interrogative in 1 Kings 
8:27, suggesting, again, that it is merely a translator's choice:

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) 1 Kings 8:27  "But can God actually live on 
the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot 
contain you; so how much less this house I have built?

God's Word for the Nations (GWN) 1 Kings 8:27  "Does God really live on 
earth? If heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot hold you, then how 
can this temple that I have built?

HH: The issue seems more a question of what the tone might have been 
when Solomon gave the remark. A number of translations have a double 
interrogative at 2 Chronicles 6:18:

CJB 2 Chronicles 6:18  "But can God actually live with human beings on 
the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot 
contain you; so how much less this house I have built?

(Douay-Rheims 1899 ed.) DRA 2 Chronicles 6:18  Is it credible then that 
God should dwell with men on the earth? If heaven and the heavens of 
heavens do not contain thee, how much less this house, which I have built?

GWN 2 Chronicles 6:18  "Does God really live on earth with people? If 
heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot hold you, then how can this 
temple that I have built?

(Lancelot Brenton's translation of the LXX) LXE 2 Chronicles 6:18  For 
will God indeed dwell with men upon the earth? if the heaven and the 
heaven of heavens will not suffice thee, what then is this house which I 
have built?

(Luther's translation) L45 2 Chronicles 6:18  Denn meinest du auch, daß 
GOtt bei den Menschen auf Erden wohne? Siehe, der Himmel und aller 
Himmel Himmel kann dich nicht versorgen; wie sollte es denn das Haus 
tun, das ich gebauet habe?

Yours,
Harold Holmyard







Yours,
Harold Holmyard




>




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