Jeremiah 46:16

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Kenneth Greifer
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Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Tue May 26, 2020 7:53 am

Jeremiah 46:16
הִרְבָּ֖ה כּוֹשֵׁ֑ל גַּם־נָפַ֞ל אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֗הוּ וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ ק֣וּמָה ׀ וְנָשֻׁ֣בָה אֶל־עַמֵּ֗נוּ וְאֶל־אֶ֙רֶץ֙ מֽוֹלַדְתֵּ֔נוּ מִפְּנֵ֖י חֶ֥רֶב הַיּוֹנָֽה׃

Does the beginning of the quote say "He has increased stumbling" or "Many are stumbling"? Or are both translations possible?

Kenneth Greifer
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Tue May 26, 2020 8:53 am

2 Samuel 1:4
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֥יו דָּוִ֛ד מֶה־הָיָ֥ה הַדָּבָ֖ר הַגֶּד־נָ֣א לִ֑י וַ֠יֹּאמֶר אֲשֶׁר־נָ֨ס הָעָ֜ם מִן־הַמִּלְחָמָ֗ה וְגַם־הַרְבֵּ֞ה נָפַ֤ל מִן־הָעָם֙ וַיָּמֻ֔תוּ וְגַ֗ם שָׁא֛וּל וִיהוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנ֖וֹ מֵֽתוּ׃

This quote also says "and also many fell" וְגַם־הַרְבֵּ֞ה נָפַ֤ל.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Jason Hare » Tue May 26, 2020 11:40 am

I hope you don't mind, Kenneth, that I edited your posts to include the [​heb] tags so that the text is bigger for us older folks. :)

According to the pointing, it is הִרְבָּה "he increased" [hiphil perfect 3ms] in Jeremiah 46:16 and הַרְבֵּה "many" or "much" in 2 Samuel 1:4.

The Samuel verse is using a partitive sense, and you should think of הַרְבֵּה as attached to מִן־הָעָם. It is "many from the people" or "a lot of the people." The verb is probably singular by analogy to הָעָם, in the same way that you could say either כָּל־הָעָם נָפַל (with grammatical agreement) or כָּל־הָעָם נָֽפְלוּ (by constructio ad sensum).

The translators are divided on the meaning of the Jeremiah verse, taking it either as "he increased the number of those stumbling" (represented by the KJV) or "he increased stumbling" (represented by the NIV and NAS, for example). The Old Greek reads τὸ πλῆθός σου ἠσθένησεν καὶ ἔπεσεν "your greatness was weakened and fell." Not sure if that is of much help.
Jason Hare
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Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian

Kenneth Greifer
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Tue May 26, 2020 11:53 am

Jason,
Are you saying that 2 Samuel 1:4 says "many from the people fell", so the word הרבה means "many"? Couldn't the word also mean "many" in Jeremiah 46:16 "many are stumbling"?

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Jason Hare
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Jason Hare » Tue May 26, 2020 12:13 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:Jason,
Are you saying that 2 Samuel 1:4 says "many from the people fell", so the word הרבה means "many"? Couldn't the word also mean "many" in Jeremiah 46:16 "many are stumbling"?

Again, according to the pointing they are not the same word.

הִרְבָּה - Hiphil perfect 3ms of רב״ה meaning “he increased” (it's a verb!)

הַרְבֵּה - Holladay specifically mentions your verse in his entry: “1. great number, many, much: a) as subj.: harbēh min hāʿām many fell 2S 1:4...”

This is like saying that context doesn't matter and that הקשה can be either הַקָּשֶׁה or הִקְשָׁה in whichever context. It's clear that these are different words even though the consonants are the same.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian

Kenneth Greifer
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Tue May 26, 2020 1:30 pm

Jason,

I forgot to mention that I was ignoring the pointing in Jeremiah 46:16. I was saying that the pointing there is probably wrong and it could say "many are stumbling."

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Jason Hare
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Re: Jeremiah 46:16

Postby Jason Hare » Tue May 26, 2020 2:38 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:Jason,

I forgot to mention that I was ignoring the pointing in Jeremiah 46:16. I was saying that the pointing there is probably wrong and it could say "many are stumbling."

I didn't recognize that you were asking about the possibility of a re-vocalization of the word הרבה there. I'd say that it makes better sense to me as הַרְבֵּה, yes, but I tend to read the text as pointed (except for the Tetragrammaton, of course). I don't think you'd be in a bad position reading it as you're suggesting.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian


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