The word כלה

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Kenneth Greifer
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The word כלה

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:41 pm

The word כלה means "all" I think in a lot of quotes, but not "all of her" like it looks like it should mean. What exactly do you think it means in quotes like Ezekiel 20:40 and Jeremiah 8:10? Is it "all" or "everyone" or "all of her"? Why isn't the word כל used for "all" instead of this word?

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Re: The word כלה

Postby S_Walch » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:07 pm

"All of them" I would take it to mean - the ה of כלה pointing to the phrase כל־בית ישראל, more than likely agreeing with the singular of בית (Ezek 20:40).

Same more or less with Jeremiah - suffixed ה = "them" for both כלה.

There's quite a few places where ה- is a masculine, rather than feminine, suffix.

See Jer 2:3; 2:21; 8:6; 15:10; 17:24 for some other examples.
Ste Walch

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Location: Canada

Re: The word כלה

Postby Schubert » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:44 pm

Ken, כלה in Jeremiah 8:10 and in at least some of the Jeremiah passages cited by S Walch are the kethib readings, with a feminine singular suffix. But there is a qere reading in those Jeremiah passages; they have a masculine (not feminine) singular suffix. This explains why many English translations use "everyone" as a translation for כלה in the context of referring to men in Jeremiah 8:10.

I was alerted to this qere issue by the analysis in Owen's Analytical Key to the Old Testament for Jeremiah 8:10.

You also asked "Why isn't the word כל used for "all" instead of [ כלה ]?"

This extract from HALOT may be relevant:
"(b) with the sf. of 3 ms., understood as referring to the mass of things or persons meant, כֻּלֹּה or כֻּלּוֹ, lit. the whole of it, is equivalent to all of them, every one, † Ex 14:7 and captains עַל־כֻּלּוֹ upon the whole of it )the רֶכֶב collectively( = all of them, Is 1:23 the whole of it (the people) loveth bribes, 9:16, 15:3, Jer 6:13, 6:13, 8:6, 8:10, 8:10, 20:7, Hab 1:9, 1:15, Psalm 29:9 and in his temple כָּבוֹד כֻּלּוֹ אֹמֵר the whole of it )= every one there( says, Glory ! 53:4 )|| 14:3 (הַכֹּל; perh. Is 16:7, Je 48:38; + Pr 19:6 Ew Hi (וְכֻלּהֹ רֵעַ): Je 15:10 rd. קִלֲלוּנִי כֻּלְּהֶם. "
John McKinnon

Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: The word כלה

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:32 pm

כֻּלּוֹ = כ-הוּא-ל-הוּא, 'in his entirety', as in Gen. 25:25
וַיֵּצֵא הָרִאשׁוֹן אַדְמוֹנִי כֻּלּוֹ כְּאַדֶּרֶת שֵׂעָר וַיִּקְרְאוּ שְׁמוֹ עֵשָׂו
NIV: The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.

כֻלָּהּ = כ-הוּא-ל-היא, 'in her entirety', as in Gen. 13:10
וַיִּשָּׂא לוֹט אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא אֶת כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן כִּי כֻלָּהּ מַשְׁקֶה
NIV: Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered

כֻלָּם = כ-הוּא-ל-הם, 'all of them', as in Num. 13:3
כֻּלָּם אֲנָשִׁים רָאשֵׁי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה
NIV: All of them were leaders of the Israelites.

כֻּלָּנוּ = כ-הוּא-ל-אנוּ, 'all of us', as in Gen. 42:11
כֻּלָּנוּ בְּנֵי אִישׁ-אֶחָד
NIV: We are all the sons of one man.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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