[b-hebrew] Someone knows?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Apr 16 13:11:36 EDT 2011


On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM, Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com> wrote:

>  We have in Nm 17:6 the verbal form HAMIT.EM, you killed.

Is it?

There are two ways of looking at it: one way is to start with an assumed
pattern and then try to fit what is written into that pattern, and if it
doesn’t fit, make it fit, and the other is to look at what is there, and ask
‘what is it?’

> If we were to write this word in today Israeli script (the pointless one,
> hasar haniqud), must we include a YUD between M and T?
> Looking at the context, it looks as if it should be a hiphil of MWT with a
third person plural suffix, and that’s the way the Masoretes have pointed
it. From my years of trying to master the Masoretic points, I still tend to
read the text according to those points. But does that really fit?

If this were a hiphil, then you are right, the normal way to write it is
with a yod between the first mem and tau. But then, shouldn’t the verb be
plural? Translated as “You, you caused them to die, the people of YHWH”?
Somewhat awkward Hebrew, but understandable.

Picture the scene: the day previously a major earthquake just swallowed a
portion of the encampment and fire descended on 250 leaders of the people.
These people were questioning Moses’ authority to do what he did. Now a
hostile crowd is advancing on Moses and Aaron saying, “You, you ???? the
people of YHWH!” What can “????” be?

>From the context, the verb is MWT, and I’ll admit, that’s my first reaction
too. But was I right? Were the Masoretes right?

Now I am putting up a trial balloon, but the form can be from the verb הום
HWM, correctly conjugated as a plural, even fitting the context: “You, you
put YHWH’s people into commotion!” or in more colloquial English, “It’s your
fault that the people of YHWH are stirred up!” i.e. questioning Moses’
authority and actions. Look at the following chapter as well.

Are we dealing with another case of incorrect pointing? How would you
puncture that trial balloon? What do you think?

> Kind regards from
> Pere Porta
> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
> Karl W. Randolph.

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