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In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:38 am
by Ruminator
Is Isaiah saying that the reign of the messiah is always adding subjects ("of his increase there will be no end" ) or "no limit", as in "the wind blows wherever it wants - so are those born of the wind"?

Unending increase of subjects? Or "not limited by borders" (or something like that)?

And what is the import of the final mem within the word?:

9:7 למרבה הַמִּשְׂרָה וּלְשָׁלֹום אֵֽין־קֵץ עַל־כִּסֵּא דָוִד וְעַל־מַמְלַכְתֹּו לְהָכִין אֹתָהּ וּֽלְסַעֲדָהּ בְּמִשְׁפָּט וּבִצְדָקָה מֵעַתָּה וְעַד־עֹולָם קִנְאַת יְהוָה צְבָאֹות תַּעֲשֶׂה־זֹּֽאת׃ ס[/size]

מַרְבֶּה

The reason I am asking is that this is used to say that the messianic assembly continues to grow numerically forever thru the gospel and I'm trying to determine (without bias, I think) whether the verse supports the idea. Thanks.

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:50 pm
by Schubert
William, there are folk on this forum with a much better grasp of Hebrew than I have. But I see nothing that would suggests this passage is saying "that the messianic assembly continues to grow numerically forever thru the gospel". It seems to be speaking of an increase of power, etc.

As for the final mem within the word, Motyer's commentary on Isaiah has a discussion at page 103 in footnote 1. His final sentence in the footnote discussion is:
"It is best to accept the MT, leaving the form of the letter "m" as an unexplained curiosity."

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:51 pm
by SteveMiller
William,
I agree with John.
Also, the word ‎ מַרְבֵּ֙ה does not really mean growth (or increase), but abundance or multitude (Isa 33:23; Eze 23:32). And there is no verb there to say "will be". The abundance of the Messiah's government and peace are without end.

The final mem in the interior of a word would normally mean that it is 2 words: לם רבה, but there is no such word as לם.
Maybe because the scribe had just written the lamed waw final mem at the end of the previous verse, he wrote a final mem again after the lamed without thinking. Just my guess.
DSS 1QIsaA, which is the only DSS witness to this part of the verse, has a normal mem in the first word of 9:7 instead of a final mem.

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:21 pm
by Jason Hare
Here's an image of the text from the Aleppo Codex:

Image

This just shows us that the "final mem" in לםרבה (that is, למרבה) has been there since at least the Masoretic tradition.

Then again, it is evident that the DSS Great Isaiah Scroll did not have the final mem inside the word. It spells it regularly as למרבה. Here is an image:

Image

That makes you wonder if this was just a mistake or how this got into the text.

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:23 pm
by Jason Hare
SteveMiller wrote:William,
DSS 1QIsaA, which is the only DSS witness to this part of the verse, has a normal mem in the first word of 9:7 instead of a final mem.

I didn't see your statement before I started writing my response above. Just confirming that what you said is spot-on.

If the earlier text form had nothing weird going on here, it must have been changed by the Massoretes to mark something in the text, though that purpose might be lost on us.

Did you check the Leningrad Codex? I'll go look at it now.

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:25 pm
by Jason Hare
Yep, the Leningrad Codex also has the final mem in the word.

Image

Re: In Isaiah 9:6 "no end of the increase"?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:31 pm
by SteveMiller
Thanks Jason!