[b-hebrew] By Whose God did Goliath Curse

Stephen Shead sshead.email at gmail.com
Fri Aug 2 17:14:46 EDT 2013


A small response to the other texts you listed with אלהיו with a
subject/object from outside Israel: The difference with 1 Sam 17:43 is that
באלהיו is immediately preceded by "David". In all the other cases you
listed, even where there is some other candidate in the context whose
"god/s" might possibly be on view (e.g. Jehoiakim in Dan 1:2 or Jonah in
Jon 1:5), there are not named immediately before באלהיו. So I'm not sure
that list has much weight for considering this case.

And a very minor point I noticed, which has nothing to do with Ken's reply
and is probably irrelevant to the topic anyway: I notice that all the
English translations render the final אשׁר חרפת as "whom you have defied" -
presumably referring to YHWH. But every other reference to Goliath's
defiance (with חרף) explicitly gives the "ranks" (מערכות, battle lines) of
Israel as the object:
v.10 "I defy the ranks of Israel"
v.25 "to defy Israel"
v.26 "he defies the ranks of the living God"
v.36 "he defies the ranks of the living God"

So in v. 45, I presume the natural antecedent of אשׁר would simply
be מערכות ישׂראל, rather than going all the way back to YHWH.

(Interestingly, the only translation I saw which opts for that is the
Spanish *Nueva Versión Internacional*, which uses a plural relative pronoun
agreeing with "armies".)

Stephen Shead
Centro de Estudios Pastorales
Santiago, Chile

---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Ken Penner <kpenner at stfx.ca>
> To: Yigal Levin <Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il>, "b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org" <
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Cc:
> Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2013 10:59:35 -0300
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] By Whose God did Goliath Curse
> Relevant texts (in which אֱלֹהָיו is not preceded by the tetragrammaton;
> the subject or object is not from Israel) include:****
> Daniel 1:2 //Ezra 1:7****
> 2 Kings 19:37//Isaiah 37:38//2 Chron 32:21****
> Isaiah 8:19****
> Jonah 1:5****
> 2 Kings 17:29****
> Micah 4:5****
> Ezra 1:3****
> ** **
> The pattern seems to be that the suffixed pronoun consistently refers to
> the subject of the verb.****
> ****
> “*And the Lord gave Jehoiakim the king of Judah into his hand and some of
> the utensils of the temple of God, and he brought them to the land of
> Shinar to the temple of his gods, and he brought the utensils to the
> treasury of his gods.*” (Daniel 1:2, LEB) ****
> “*And Cyrus the king brought out the objects of the house of Yahweh that
> Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his
> gods.*” (Ezra 1:7, LEB) ****
> “*It happened that he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god,
> and Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword. Then they escaped
> into the land of Ararat, and Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.*”
> (2 Kings 19:37, LEB) ****
> “*And this happened: he was bowing in worship in the house of Nisroch his
> god, and Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him with the sword.
> And they themselves escaped to the land of Ararat, and Esar-haddon his son
> reigned as king in his place.*” (Isaiah 37:38, LEB) ****
> “*Then Yahweh sent an angel, and he destroyed every mighty warrior of
> strength, commander, and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. And he
> returned with shamed face to his land and went into the house of his god.
> And some of the offspring of his loins fell upon him there with the sword.
> *” (2 Chronicles 32:21, LEB) ****
> “*Now if they tell you, “Consult the ghosts and the spirits, those who
> chirp and those who mutter. Should not a people consult its gods, the
> dead on behalf of the living,*” (Isaiah 8:19, LEB) ****
> “*And the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they
> threw the contents that were in the merchant ship into the sea to lighten
> it for them. And meanwhile Jonah went down into the hold of the vessel and
> lay down and fell asleep.*” (Jonah 1:5, LEB) ****
> “*Yet every nation was making their gods, and they put them in the shrine
> of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their
> cities in which they were living.*” (2 Kings 17:29, LEB) ****
>  “*For all the nations walk, each in the name of its god, but we will
> walk in the name of Yahweh our God, forever and ever.*” (Micah 4:5, LEB) *
> ***
> “*Whoever among you who is from all of his people, may his God be with
> him and may he go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and may he build the
> house of Yahweh, the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem.*”
> (Ezra 1:3, LEB) ****
> ** **
> Ken M. Penner, Ph.D.****
> Associate Professor, Religious Studies****
> 2329 Notre Dame Avenue, 409 Nicholson Tower****
> St. Francis Xavier University****
> Antigonish, NS  B2G 2W5****
> Canada****
> (902)867-2265****
> kpenner at stfx.ca****
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