3128TC in Isaiah 53
- Sep 3, 1997Here's a Hebrew TC question for us, though it's actually in 3 parts.
I really don't like posting multiple-question stuff, so I'll start
with what is actually a translational question and move from there
into the TC part of it, if no one objects.
Isaiah 53:8 has LFMOW in the last clause, in parallel with a bunch of
singular verbs and pronouns in the rest of the verse. Some
investigation revealed several places, such as Gen 9:25 and 26, where
this word can appear to have a singular meaning even though
"standard" grammars such as GKC list it as a plural. Recently, I
also noticed that the Westminster BHS Morph database consistently
lists it as L with a singular pronoun suffix. Conventional wisdom
suggests that it is consistently a plural, and hence translate the
last clause of v.8 as "the judgment of my people, to whom [plural]
the stroke was due." I have doubts about the translation, and there
is also a significant textual variant there. But before addressing
my thoughts on the variant, I wonder if anybody on the list has more
solid info on the singular/plural nature of the word as it stands in
My thought is that it is sort of an elision or phonetic ellipsis,
kind of like the English phoneme 'm. If one says "I'll go get 'm"
context is necessary to know whether 'm is standing for "him" or
"them." My initial reaction is that LFMOW is a similar phenomenon,
but I have no idea how strongly this idea might be supported by other
grammatical-transcriptional features of the actual text.
In any case, does anyone have any thoughts on the meaning of LFMOW in
this verse? Again, my hope is that we can kick that around a little
and from there, address the textual variant.
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