Prov 30:3

The main place for discussion the Hebrew Bible, its language and message.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
User avatar
SteveMiller
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:53 pm
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Contact:

Prov 30:3

Postby SteveMiller » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:52 pm

Friends,

‎WTT Proverbs 30:3 וְלֹֽא־לָמַ֥דְתִּי חָכְמָ֑ה וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים אֵדָֽע׃

Does the לֹֽא at the beginning of the verse apply to both halves of the verse or only to the first 1st half:

DBY Proverbs 30:3 I have neither learned wisdom, nor have I the knowledge of the Holy.
or
YLT Proverbs 30:3 Nor have I learned wisdom, Yet the knowledge of Holy Ones I know.

for ref:
LXE Proverbs 30:3 God has taught me wisdom, and I know the knowledge of the holy.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

User avatar
Kirk Lowery
Site Admin
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:03 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby Kirk Lowery » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:11 pm

No one else has commented on this, so I'll take a shot.

All of the "standard" translations take ‎לֹֽא as applying to both halves of the verse. Syntax is different in poetry anytime, but especially in Semitic poetry with its parallelistic patterns.

From an exegetical (interpretation) point of view, this makes sense. Agur of Jakeh starts off the chapter deprecating his intelligence/understanding. To have him contradict himself doesn't seem logical or fit the flow of text.

The NETBible note here is instructive: " The construction uses repetition to make the point emphatically: "I do not know the knowledge of the Holy One." Agur's claim to being "brutish" is here clarified – he is not one of those who has knowledge or understanding of God. C. H. Toy thinks the speaker is being sarcastic in reference to others who may have claimed such knowledge (Proverbs [ICC], 521)."

Hope this makes sense.
Kirk E. Lowery, PhD
B-Hebrew Site Administrator & Moderator
blog: https://blogs.emdros.org/eh

Mark Lightman
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby Mark Lightman » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:18 am

Kirk Lowery wrote:All of the "standard" translations take ‎לֹֽא as applying to both halves of the verse.

Cf. the Graecus Venetus: οὔτε ἔμαθον σοφίαν, καὶ γνῶσιν ἁγίων εἴσομαι.
Mark Lightman

kwrandolph
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby kwrandolph » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:12 am

Steve, there’s a fourth option, namely that the waw should be translated with a “that”. This is not common, but is found, most famously in Isaiah 53:2 “…he doesn’t have the looks that we should desire specifically him.” So we get in Proverbs 30:3 “I didn’t learn wisdom that I should know the knowledge of holy things.”

Karl W. Randolph.

Jemoh66
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:03 pm

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby Jemoh66 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:43 am

I like that Karl. I would also add that I think the second phrase, וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים אֵדָֽע, is referring to holy beings, that is what holy beings know.

I haven't learned wisdom that I should know what the holy ones know.
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

User avatar
SteveMiller
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:53 pm
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Contact:

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby SteveMiller » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:07 pm

Thanks Kirk, Mark, Karl and Jonathan,

Mark, is there an English translation of the Graecus Venetus?

I did a search of all occurrences of "nor" in KJV in the Tanach.
There were 499 verses, so I just looked at the poetic books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations.
These were about 50 verses. In all these cases the negative particle never applied to 2 verbs except for maybe the verse under discussion.
I also searched the above 499 verses for any containing an imperative verb, thinking there might be an example of one negative particle applying to 2 imperative verbs.
There I found 2 verses with one negative particle modifying 2 verbs (but not the imperative verb).
Isa 23:4 ... and I have not raised choice men, brought up virgins.
‎ וְלֹ֥א גִדַּ֛לְתִּי בַּחוּרִ֖ים רוֹמַ֥מְתִּי בְתוּלֽוֹת׃
Here there is no "and". It seems the 2 verbal phrases are in apposition. They are one thing.

Jer 22:10 ... For he shall return no more, nor see his native land.
‎ כִּ֣י לֹ֤א יָשׁוּב֙ ע֔וֹד וְרָאָ֖ה אֶת־אֶ֥רֶץ מוֹלַדְתּֽוֹ׃
This could to be a case like Karl's:
For he shall return no more that he may see his native land.
Since both verbs have the same subject, it could be translated:
For he shall not return and see his native land.
Which has the same meaning as "that he may see ... ".

Karl,
As far as I know, a waw prefixed to a noun does not carry the meaning of "that" or "so that".
Looking for "that" in Proverbs, I find only:
Prov 8:29 "when he imposed on the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment, when he appointed the foundations of the earth: (DBY)
‎ בְּשׂ֨וּמ֤וֹ לַיָּ֙ם׀ חֻקּ֗וֹ וּ֭מַיִם לֹ֣א יַֽעַבְרוּ־פִ֑יו בְּ֜חוּק֗וֹ מ֣וֹסְדֵי אָֽרֶץ׃
It could just as well be translated without the "that": When He set for the sea its limit and the waters would not transgress His word ..." (Stone Tanach)

Jonathan,
the same phrase ‎ וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים is in Prov 9:10, where I don't think it could mean "what the holy ones know".

I would translate Prov 30:3 Neither have I learned wisdom, but knowledge of the Holy I know.
Because v 4 through at least v9 indicate a knowledge of the Holy.
Maybe Agur has a mental handicap, like Downs Syndrome, or another handicap so he didn't go to school, but he knows God's ways.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

Mark Lightman
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby Mark Lightman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:06 pm

SteveMiller wrote:Mark, is there an English translation of the Graecus Venetus?

No, Steve, I don't think so.
Mark Lightman

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:49 pm

וְלֹֽא לָמַ֥דְתִּי חָכְמָ֑ה וְדַ֖עַת קְדֹשִׁ֣ים אֵדָֽע
"I have not learned wisdom, nor do I know the teachings of the rabbis.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

S_Walch
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:41 pm

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby S_Walch » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:42 am

SteveMiller wrote:I would translate Prov 30:3 Neither have I learned wisdom, but knowledge of the Holy I know.
Because v 4 through at least v9 indicate a knowledge of the Holy.
Maybe Agur has a mental handicap, like Downs Syndrome, or another handicap so he didn't go to school, but he knows God's ways.

As you pointed to the LXX/OG in post #1, here's the Greek (LXX/OG has a different structure, and text, to the Masoretic Hebrew of Proverbs, and so transposes Prov 30:3 to Prov 24:26):

θεὸς δεδίδαχέν με σοφίαν, καὶ γνῶσιν ἁγίων ἔγνωκα.

God has taught me wisdom, and I know the knowledge of the Holy One

Here we could have a classic case of misreading לא for אל (hence θεὸς), or the Masoretic Hebrew has a scribal mistake of לא for אל.

I also agree with your interpretation of the verses (which certainly seems to be the one shared by the LXX/OG), and add the following: Agur knows God's ways as opposed to knowing the ways of humans, to which he is contrasting:

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid than a human.
as I do not have the understanding of humankind,
since God has taught me wisdom,
and I know the knowledge of the Holy One.

Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Ste Walch

User avatar
SteveMiller
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:53 pm
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
Contact:

Re: Prov 30:3

Postby SteveMiller » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:50 pm

S_Walch wrote:As you pointed to the LXX/OG in post #1, here's the Greek (LXX/OG has a different structure, and text, to the Masoretic Hebrew of Proverbs, and so transposes Prov 30:3 to Prov 24:26):

God has taught me wisdom, and I know the knowledge of the Holy One


Thanks Ste. What did you mean by "transposes Prov 30:3 to Prov 24:26"?

S_Walch wrote:Here we could have a classic case of misreading לא for אל (hence θεὸς), or the Masoretic Hebrew has a scribal mistake of לא for אל.

It would also require that LXX saw ‎לָמַ֥דְי in place of ‎ לָמַ֥דְתִּי.
LXX does make more sense, that God taught Agur wisdom, because v10 - end of the chapter are wisdom, rather than knowledge of the holy.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests