Isaiah 24:3b-5a

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R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:45 am

Dear List-members,

I present a small portion of my translations from the prophets with comments where the nuances and subtleties of the text are marked. (From my book: The Fallacy of Prophetic Perfect With Translations of Verses from the Prophets). First I present a word for word translation, and then I present a normal translation.

24:3b
For yhwh speak (perfect) word this.
For Yehowa himself has spoken (perfect) this word.

The Hebrew has five words, and my translation has seven words. In most cases, the verb stands before the subject. But in this clause, the subject, yhwh, stands before the verb. This shows that the subject is stressed, and I express this by using the pronoun “himself.”

24:4a
mourn (perfect) wither (perfect) the land.
It will indeed mourn (perfect), the land will certainly wither (perfect).

The Hebrew text has three words, and my translation has nine words. The syntax of 4a is the opposite of the syntax in 3a. In 3a, the subject, “the land,” was connected with the first verb. In connection with the second verb, the same subject was implied, and it was expressed by “it.” In 4a, the subject “the land” is connected with the second verb. In connection with the first verb, the same subject is implied and is expressed by “it.”
A strong emphasis is expressed by the three Hebrew words. First, the two perfects stand side by side without any waw that is connecting them, and both are sentence initial. Second, there is a play of words because the spelling of the two verbs with slightly different meanings differs only in one letter—the verbs are ’ābal and nābal.

The first verb with the meaning “morn” constitutes one independent clause, “it will mourn.” But because it is sentence initial, and therefore emphatic, my translation is “It will indeed mourn.” The subject “it” refers to the subject of the second clause, to “the land.” Because the perfect of the second clause is sentence initial, it is emphatic as well, and I translate the clause as, “the land will certainly wither.” Each clause is emphatic in its own right. And used together, the emphasis is even stronger.

In modern prose, we also use a construction similar to the Hebrew one to get the attention of the readers or the audience: I start a lecture by saying, “They will be destroyed.” The audience wonders who “they” are. Then I say, “God’s enemies will be destroyed.” Now I have the full attention of the audience when I explain the identity of God’s enemies.

24:4b
Fade away (perfect) wither (perfect) the productive land.
It will indeed fade away (perfect); the productive land will surely wither (perfect).

Verse 4b has the same syntactic construction as 4a. The Hebrew text has three words, and my translation has 11 words. The subject of the first clause is implied, and is expressed by “it.” This pronoun refers to the subject of the second clause. This subject is “the productive land,” while the subject of the second clause in 4a was “the land.” Here we also find a play of words: the word translated “fade away” is ’āmal, and the word translated “wither” is nābal. The unusual construction of the two clauses in 4a expresses strong emphasis, and the same is true with the similar construction of the two clauses in 4b. When there are two pairs of clauses, each with strong emphasis, the total emphasis of the four clauses becomes even stronger. The subjects of the two clauses in 4a are “the land,” and the subject in the two clauses in 4b is “the productive land.” The fact that the two subjects are synonyms adds to the emphasis.

24:4c-5a
Fade away (perfect) prominent people the land and the land defile (perfect) under its inhabitants.
The prominent people of the land will undoubtedly wither (perfect) because the very land has been defiled (perfect) by its inhabitants.

The Hebrew has eight words, and my translation has 19 words. The emphatic syntax is continued, both because the perfect of 4c is sentence initial (marked by “undoubtedly”), and because the verb is ’āmal (“fade away”) is used, as in the next-to-the-last clause. The use of this verb connects this clause with the clauses in 4a and 4b.

But here a new element is added. In the previous four clauses, the subjects were “the land” and “the productive land.” But now the subject is “the prominent people of the land.” And an explanation is added: The inhabitants have defiled the land. The subject, “the land,” in 5a stands before the verb, and therefore it is stressed. I express this by the adjective “very.”

The clause in 5a is connected to the previous clause by the conjunction waw. This conjunction is, in most cases, translated by “and.” But because the clause shows the reason why the prominent people will wither, I translate waw as “because,” which is a legitimate translation of waw.

The verses that I have discussed above show in an excellent way how English readers can recapture “to an extent, the terseness of Hebrew.” The Hebrew text of the verses has 24 words, and my translations have 60 words. To convey all the nuances of the terse Hebrew text to English readers, it is not possible to use fewer words. Thus, to recapture “to an extent, the terseness of Hebrew” is based on the use of many English words showing how much meaning there is in much fewer Hebrew words.


Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 298
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Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:22 pm

Rolf,

Does your book actually have the Hebrew text next to each explanation or would people have to look up each quote?
Also, I think this excerpt from your book would get more of a response if you gave the Hebrew text with each English explanation.

Kenneth Greifer

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:36 am

Rolf,

Does your book actually have the Hebrew text next to each explanation or would people have to look up each quote?
Also, I think this excerpt from your book would get more of a response if you gave the Hebrew text with each English explanation.

Kenneth Greifer


Dear Kenneth.

The target group of the book is all who are interested in accurate Bible translation, both those who read Hebrew and those who do not read Hebrew. For list members, the Hebrew words would be important besides the Hebrew text, as you say.

Please note that my translations and my comments, that I sent to the list, are just an example of why I translate the Hebrew text differently from all other Bible translations. Half of the book is a translation into English with comments at the end. Two syntactic issues are neglected in most Hebrew grammars, namely, the importance of word order and of rare syntactic constructions for the meaning. This is seen in the example I sent, and these issues would be fine to discuss on the list, in order to learn more about the real meaning of Hebrew.

In my book, I present a translation of verses from 115 chapters from the prophets. Behind each verb is the grammatical form written (see below). At the end of the book, there is a detailed list of all the perfects, perfect consecutives, imperfects, and imperfect consecutives, that are translated with English future. Book, chapter, and verse are shown in each case.

The example below is from Nahum 2:5-8

5 The chariots will be racing (impf) like madmen through the streets. They will be rushing back and forth (impf) in the public squares. The appearance [of their parts of iron] will be like torches (nom), and like lightnings they will be running to and fro (impf). 6 He will be summoning (impf) his powerful persons. They will be brought down (impf) in their ways. They will be hastening (impf) to her wall, and the defense will be made ready (perf c). 7 The very gates of the streams will be opened (perf), and the palace itself will collapse (perf) 8 And it will be decreed (perf c): “She will certainly go into exile (perf)! She will without fail be carried away (perf)!”

The imperfective aspect (present participle) and the perfective aspect (perfect) in English have only one option each. The imperfective aspect (imperfect, imperfect consecutive, and imperfect conjunctive) in Hebrew has six options, and the perfective aspect (perfect and perfect consecutive) has five options.

The Hebrew imperfective aspect makes visible progressive action. Therefore, I use the English participle or auxiliary verbs (began to, continued to etc). In some verbs, the meaning and aktionsart will not allow a progressive translation into English. The perfective aspect does not make progressive action visible. Therefore, I use English future when perfects have future reference.

Best regards,


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:37 am

I guess you are saying that there is no Hebrew in the book. I would be shocked to find out that anybody studying a hard grammar book like your book would not know how to read Hebrew at all. Most people don't study high level grammar of languages they have never studied. Also, most people who do study Hebrew grammar at a high level would want to see the Hebrew text.

Maybe someday you or another scholar will write a Hebrew grammar book that can be understood by regular people using easier words to explain hard topics. I imagine that most of the difficulties of studying grammar are caused by all of the hard words scholars use for everything. I think that they might be saying easy things with very hard words and technical jargon so it sounds like PhD level chemistry. I don't think most scholars know any easy words, so they probably can't write a book for regular people. That is too bad. I think more people could understand grammar if topics were explained with easier words, but I am just guessing because I have never seen a book that teaches higher level Hebrew grammar with easier words. So far I have never understood any Hebrew grammar discussion on B-Hebrew because no one has ever used easier words. You have to be a linguist to understand any discussions. I think I could have understood the ideas if they didn't use all of the technical jargon.

It doesn't matter anyway. Personally, even if I don't understand the highly technical grammar, I can look at the Hebrew and the translation, but in your book, I wouldn't be able to because there is no Hebrew text. I wouldn't read it anyway because I don't know the hard grammar you are discussing, but I doubt other people here will because they insist on seeing the Hebrew text. Every time I ask about a translation of a quote, even just one word, they all say I have to show them the quote in Hebrew.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Jason Hare » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:39 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:I wouldn't read it anyway because I don't know the hard grammar you are discussing, but I doubt other people here will because they insist on seeing the Hebrew text. Every time I ask about a translation of a quote, even just one word, they all say I have to show them the quote in Hebrew.


This made me smile. Yes, we want to see the Hebrew and judge for ourselves. <3
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

talmid56
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Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby talmid56 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:35 pm

:lol: After all, Kenneth, this is B-Hebrew, not B-English (or any other modern language), or B-Translation.
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים

talmid56
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:02 am
Location: Carlisle, Arkansas, USA

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby talmid56 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:43 pm

Kenneth wrote (re Rolf's book on Hebrew perfects, etc.):
I wouldn't read it anyway because I don't know the hard grammar you are discussing,


The concepts of perfect and imperfect themselves are pretty basic Hebrew grammar. Are there particular parts of these concepts that you need help with, Kenneth? If so, please let us know. We want everyone here to be able to learn and benefit from the discussions, no matter their Hebrew level. No need to feel embarrassed--nobody knows it all. Not even the scholars. :D
Dewayne Dulaney
דואיין דוליני

Blog: https://letancientvoicesspeak.wordpress.com/

כִּ֤י שֶׁ֨מֶשׁ׀ וּמָגֵן֮ יְהוָ֪ה אֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים חֵ֣ן וְ֭כָבוֹד יִתֵּ֣ן יְהוָ֑ה לֹ֥א יִמְנַע־ט֝֗וֹב לַֽהֹלְכִ֥ים בְּתָמִֽים׃
--(E 84:11) 84:12 תהלים

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby R.J. Furuli » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:52 am

P
ost by Kenneth Greifer » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:37 am

I guess you are saying that there is no Hebrew in the book. I would be shocked to find out that anybody studying a hard grammar book like your book would not know how to read Hebrew at all. Most people don't study high level grammar of languages they have never studied. Also, most people who do study Hebrew grammar at a high level would want to see the Hebrew text.


Dear Kenneth and others,

My translation differs from all other translations of these verses. Here is the Hebrew text of Isaiah 24:3-5. Anyone who is interested in the translation of the Hebrew text and the nuances of the text is invited to make comments on my translation. There is no doubt that a very fine way to see the nuances of Hebrew words and understand Hebrew syntax is to translate verses into another language.

3‏ הִבּ֧וֹק ׀ תִּבּ֛וֹק הָאָ֖רֶץ וְהִבּ֣וֹז ׀ תִּבּ֑וֹז כִּ֣י יְהוָ֔ה דִּבֶּ֖ר אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃ ‎
4‏ אָבְלָ֤ה נָֽבְלָה֙ הָאָ֔רֶץ אֻמְלְלָ֥ה נָבְלָ֖ה תֵּבֵ֑ל אֻמְלָ֖לוּ מְר֥וֹם עַם־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
5:‏ וְהָאָ֥רֶץ חָנְפָ֖ה תַּ֣חַת יֹשְׁבֶ֑יהָ כִּֽי־עָבְר֤וּ תוֹרֹת֙ חָ֣לְפוּ חֹ֔ק הֵפֵ֖רוּ בְּרִ֥ית עוֹלָֽם



Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:54 pm

Rolf,

I think people want to see the Hebrew text next to your translations, so they can compare your translation to the Hebrew. They might also want to see an example of how those quotes are usually translated in most Bibles, so they can see what is different in your translation. I understand that you are giving people a lot of information, but I think they want more. If you added all of that to your book, you might have to make it several volumes to cover everything.

I like to consider myself an amateur Hebrew Bible researcher (or crackpot) sometimes, and I also do my own translations of difficult Hebrew Bible quotes which I self-publish. In my peculiar books, I don't show all of the Hebrew. I just show the words that are difficult and that I translate differently. I try to show the most common translation of each quote and then my alternatives. I know that my knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is a joke compared to your knowledge, but I like to think I make up for it with wild and unusual ideas that I think scholars have not considered. Your book is more professional, so they probably expect more from you, which I think means you have to show people more of the details of what you are saying.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Isaiah 24:3b-5a

Postby Jason Hare » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:01 pm

R.J. Furuli wrote:My translation differs from all other translations of these verses.


If this happens often, there might be a problem. Generally speaking, the range of translations available in English, taken in tandem, surely indicate the meaning of the text. Not saying that any translation is perfect, but if my personal translation is novel and stands opposed to all other translations, I am probably mistaken in my understanding of the text and should look at it again.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel


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