[b-hebrew] Deuteronomy 32:8-9

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Wed Dec 26 23:43:48 EST 2012


On 12/26/2012 4:13 PM, kenneth greifer wrote:
> Deut.32:8-9 says something like "...when He divided the sons of man, He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the portion of the L-rd is His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
>
> I was thinking that maybe it says "...when He divided the sons of a man (not mankind), He set the borders of peoples to the number of the sons of Israel, because the L-rd divided His people, Jacob, the portion of His inheritance."
>
> Maybe Jacob's sons were peoples like Gen. 28:3 says an assembly of peoples would come from him. Maybe G-d divided the sons of a man (Jacob) and set the borders for the peoples who came from him, the tribes of Israel.
>
> I have read that adam can mean man or mankind, so maybe the usual translation is wrong. Any opinions?

"Sons of..." is a common Hebrew idiom for "descendents." In this case, 
it can only mean the descendents of Adam as the human race. Note the 
parallelism between the nations, the sons of Adam and the borders of the 
peoples. This again suggests that the phrase refers to the human race as 
a whole.

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-- 
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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The American Academy
http://www.theamericanacademy.net
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