[b-hebrew] Exodus 20:3-5

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 12:58:32 EST 2013


What I have found is that the waw is optional, though usually included.
Because it’s optional, its lack here is not “missing”. The context tells us
that these three verses go together as a unit.

Verse 6 closes the command, and it starts with a waw.

I just noticed another example, Proverbs 30:19, “the path of an eagle in
the sky, the path of a snake upon bare rock, the path of a ship in the sea,
and the path of a man into the unknown.” where only the last phrase has a
waw to introduce and tie it together with the whole. Other verses may have
a waw between each section.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 6:16 AM, Jonathan Mohler
<jonathan.mohler at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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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