Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

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Kenneth Greifer
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Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Mon May 18, 2020 11:49 am

Numbers 6:5
כָּל־יְמֵי֙ נֶ֣דֶר נִזְר֔וֹ תַּ֖עַר לֹא־יַעֲבֹ֣ר עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ עַד־מְלֹ֨את הַיָּמִ֜ם אֲשֶׁר־יַזִּ֤יר לַיהוָה֙ קָדֹ֣שׁ יִהְיֶ֔ה גַּדֵּ֥ל פֶּ֖רַע שְׂעַ֥ר רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃

Why does it say "he will be יִהְיֶ֔ה holy ..." 'with the verb "to be" and the word "holy" instead of using the verb "to be holy" קדש?

Do you think the word is an adjective "holy" or a noun "a holy one"?

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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Kirk Lowery » Mon May 18, 2020 12:01 pm

I would say that ‎קָדֹ֣שׁ here is an adjective: the Nazirite is set apart (not morally, but ritually) for the length of his vow. It indicates the person's status, and that would be an attribute assigned to the Nazirite.
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Kenneth Greifer
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Mon May 18, 2020 12:30 pm

I don't understand why the verb "to be" is used with an adjective when the adjective itself has a "to be holy" verb form. Are there other adjectives that are used with the verb "to be" even though those adjectives also have their own "to be" verb forms?

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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Jason Hare » Mon May 18, 2020 1:47 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:Numbers 6:5
כָּל־יְמֵי֙ נֶ֣דֶר נִזְר֔וֹ תַּ֖עַר לֹא־יַעֲבֹ֣ר עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ עַד־מְלֹ֨את הַיָּמִ֜ם אֲשֶׁר־יַזִּ֤יר לַיהוָה֙ קָדֹ֣שׁ יִהְיֶ֔ה גַּדֵּ֥ל פֶּ֖רַע שְׂעַ֥ר רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃

Why does it say "he will be יִהְיֶ֔ה holy ..." 'with the verb "to be" and the word "holy" instead of using the verb "to be holy" קדש?

Do you think the word is an adjective "holy" or a noun "a holy one"?

The whole phrase in question is:

עַד־מְלֹ֨את הַיָּמִ֜ם אֲשֶׁר־יַזִּ֤יר לַיהוָה֙ קָדֹ֣שׁ יִהְיֶ֔ה
"Until the completion of the days when he lives as a Nizirite [that is, until he has completed the period of his vow], he will be holy to the LORD."

There's no reason to read this as a substantive (not "noun" but "substantivized adjective") when the collocation of הָיָה and קָדֹשׁ is common. For example:

Leviticus 20:7
וְהִ֙תְקַדִּשְׁתֶּ֔ם וִהְיִיתֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֑ים כִּ֛י אֲנִ֥י יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃
"Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am the LORD your God."

There is certainly no justification in such expressions to translate it as "be saints" or "be holy ones."

Not to mention that קָדֹשׁ ליהוה is a common expression.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Jason Hare » Mon May 18, 2020 1:48 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:I don't understand why the verb "to be" is used with an adjective when the adjective itself has a "to be holy" verb form. Are there other adjectives that are used with the verb "to be" even though those adjectives also have their own "to be" verb forms?

The adjective has a verb form? This is unclear to me. Are you talking about stative verbs?
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S_Walch
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby S_Walch » Mon May 18, 2020 2:01 pm

I think what Kenneth means is there's already a verb "to be holy" (קָדַשׁ), so why would someone use a separate verb + adjective to indicate the same thing.
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Jonathan Beck
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Jonathan Beck » Mon May 18, 2020 3:09 pm

Stylistic choice? I'm not sure if it's possible to answer this question.

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Jason Hare
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby Jason Hare » Mon May 18, 2020 3:19 pm

It seems to me that when קָדַשׁ (qal) is used, it refers to the becoming. That is, you touch the altar, and you become holy. The altar is sprinkled with blood at its dedication, and it becomes holy. I don't see how a "becoming" fits this situation. It is being in a state of holiness, which fits how an adjective is used.
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby kwrandolph » Mon May 18, 2020 3:30 pm

Kenneth Greifer wrote:I don't understand why the verb "to be" is used with an adjective when the adjective itself has a "to be holy" verb form.


“Verb form”? When reading it in an unpointed text, one depends on the context and syntax to recognize what is its form. The context and syntax both indicate that קדש in this sentence is not a verb.

I personally lean towards קדש being a noun, that he will be a “set-apart person” all the days he has the vow.

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S_Walch
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Re: Numbers 6:5 "he will be holy or a holy one"

Postby S_Walch » Mon May 18, 2020 3:35 pm

Did a search on that idea Jason, and came to these three exceptions:

Numbers 17:2
אֱמֹ֨ר אֶל־אֶלְעָזָ֜ר בֶּן־אַהֲרֹ֣ן הַכֹּהֵ֗ן וְיָרֵ֤ם אֶת־הַמַּחְתֹּת֙ מִבֵּ֣ין הַשְּׂרֵפָ֔ה וְאֶת־הָאֵ֖שׁ זְרֵה־הָ֑לְאָה כִּ֖י קָדֵֽשׁוּ

Numbers 17:3
אֵ֡ת מַחְתּוֹת֩ הַֽחַטָּאִ֨ים הָאֵ֜לֶּה בְּנַפְשֹׁתָ֗ם וְעָשׂ֨וּ אֹתָ֜ם רִקֻּעֵ֤י פַחִים֙ צִפּ֣וּי לַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ כִּֽי־הִקְרִיבֻ֥ם לִפְנֵֽי־יְהוָ֖ה וַיִּקְדָּ֑שׁוּ וְיִֽהְי֥וּ לְא֖וֹת לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

Isaiah 65:5
הָאֹֽמְרִים֙ קְרַ֣ב אֵלֶ֔יךָ אַל־תִּגַּשׁ־בִּ֖י כִּ֣י קְדַשְׁתִּ֑יךָ אֵ֚לֶּה עָשָׁ֣ן בְּאַפִּ֔י אֵ֥שׁ יֹקֶ֖דֶת כָּל־הַיּֽוֹם

I think though we can see how the different uses of the verb and adjective are used in the following verse:

Exodus 30:29
וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ֣ אֹתָ֔ם וְהָי֖וּ קֹ֣דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִׁ֑ים כָּל־הַנֹּגֵ֥עַ בָּהֶ֖ם יִקְדָּֽשׁ

We have the threefold usage of "you shall consecrate/make them holy"; "they shall be the most holy"; and "he shall be holy." Seems to be the וְהָי֖וּ קֹ֣דֶשׁ is essentially just a standard Hebrew clause. :)
Ste Walch


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