[b-hebrew] Ezek 3:26

Jerry Shepherd jshepherd53 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 22 20:12:05 EDT 2013

Hi Karl,

Here's my reply to the rest of your post.

You ask: "Why do you think I normally don’t read commentaries?"

I don't know the reason, but I am sure it is not a good one.  It is not to
one's credit to ignore the wealth of scholarship of those who have devoted
their lives to examination of the biblical text.

You say: "If you reported accurately concerning these commentaries (not
saying that you didn’t, just using this as a rhetorical intro), here we
find commentators have not done their homework vis-à-vis the Hebrew
language is concerned."

Let me assure you, the scholars I quoted, Wilson and Block, are quite well
known for definitely doing their homework.  And they have especially done
their homework with regard to work on the Hebrew text and the understanding
of the Hebrew language.  Comments like these are ill-informed and
needlessly denigrating.

You say: "First of all, this is a participle, used as a noun. This is not a
verbal use of the word."

This is incorrect.  To be  sure, it is a participle and it is a noun, but
the participle is a verbal noun, and there is still a verbal content in the
noun.  The only difference between a finite verb and a participle is that
the finite verb refers to the action, and the participle refers to the one
performing the action.  There is no semantic difference with regard to the
meaning of the verb.

You ask: "Secondly, is the reason that he is not someone who is one who
puts forth a case for God to this people because God had no use for him to
do so, or was it because the people were not ready to listen? Is not the
answer in the context, namely that the people were defiant until their
reason for defiance, namely Jerusalem, fell?"

Your questions here suggest that you have not understood the problem or the
context.  The book of Ezekiel is fairly chronological.  In the verse in
question, 3:26, if Yahweh is telling Ezekiel that he will not be putting
forth a case for God, then that doesn't correspond to the fact that for the
next seven years (and the next twenty-some chapters), that is exactly what
Ezekiel does – he presents the case over and over again as to why Yahweh is
going to judge the people, bring a siege against Jerusalem, destroy the
temple, and send many more Israelites into exile.

You said: "Or to put it in a more exacting definition, based on discussions
with Ruth, it is used for a wide variety of functions, hence it has a wide
semantic range."

When linguists use the term "wide semantic range," they mean exactly what I
have been arguing for, that a word has a wide variety of meanings.  But
this is what you are denying.

You said: "I just looked up Gen. 20:16 and 24:14, 44 and in all three cases
the consonantal text is consistent with נכח and not יכח. Further the
contexts are consistent with נכח and not יכח. Therefore you can’t include
those in your list for יכח. It looks as if you have documented some cases
where the Masoretic points are wrong. . . . Your case is greatly weakened
by including examples that are not from the root of יכח."

While I appreciate the attempt, and while it is possible that everyone else
in the whole history of interpretation is wrong and you are right, I
consider that possibility to be very remote.  Perhaps there is a lexicon or
commentary on the text of Genesis out there that takes the three cases, Gen
20:16; 24:14, 44, to be places where the verb is נכח rather than יכח, but I
haven't come across them yet.  And there are no occurrences of a verb נכח
in the Hebrew Bible.  I know you think there are, but you need to
demonstrate this rather than simply stating it and taking it for granted.  יכח
does fit the occurrences in these three Genesis passages, as an extension
of the idea of rendering a decision or issuing a judgment, choice, or



Jerry Shepherd
Taylor Seminary
Edmonton, Alberta
jshepherd53 at gmail.com
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