[b-hebrew] Exodus 20:3-5

Jonathan Mohler jonathan.mohler at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 09:16:06 EST 2013


Jack, Karl,

The absence of a waw conjunction makes it very clear that they are neither to make them, nor bow to them, that is, one could bow to idols another has made. This closes both loopholes.  There's no real motivation here to think that there is a missing waw.

Jonathan E Mohler

> Jack:
> 
> The “missing” waw is found elsewhere, most commonly in lists of names such as in the early chapters of 1 Chronicles. As such, it’s found within as well as between verses.
> 
> Context is the clue as to how we should read these verses.
> 
> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM, Jack Kilmon <jkilmon at historian.net> wrote:

 
Exodus 3-5 are one commandment broken into three stanzas.  My interest is with 20:4 and 20:5.
 
20:4  לֹֽא תַֽעֲשֶׂה־לְךָ פֶסֶל וְכָל־תְּמוּנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וַֽאֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ מִתַָּחַת וַאֲשֶׁר בַּמַּיִם מִתַּחַת לָאָֽרֶץ  
 
Should there be conjunction understood between 4 and:
 
20:5  לֹֽא־תִשְׁתַּחְוֶה לָהֶם וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם כִּי אָֽנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵל קַנָּא פֹּקֵד עֲוֹן אָבֹת עַל־בָּנִים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִים לְשֹׂנְאָֽי׃ ........
so the reading/intent would be :
 
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth....AND...
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,
 
The intention of this single thought divided in three stanzas makes more sense that “you shall not make any idols AND/OR for the purpose of bowing down to them, etc., not necessarily prohibiting the sculpture of lions and wombats as long as you weren’t worshipping lions and wombats.
 
Are there any other consecutive verses where a waw may be absent but understood?
 
Jack
 
Jack Kilmon
Houston, TX
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