Isa 64:6

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Max S-R
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Isa 64:6

Post by Max S-R »

וַנְּהִי כַטָּמֵא כֻּלָּנוּ וּכְבֶגֶד עִדִּים כָּל־צִדְקֹתֵינוּ וַנָּבֶל כֶּעָלֶה כֻּלָּנוּ וַעֲוֹנֵנוּ כָּרוּחַ יִשָּׂאֻנוּ׃

My question is about the agreement of וַעֲוֹנֵנוּ [singular] with יִשָּׂאֻנוּ [plural]. Have I got the grammatical number [as in sg./pl.] of these words right?
Both LXX and Vulgate have plural noun [ἀνομίας, iniquitates], although the Greek has something a bit different:
καὶ ἐξερρύημεν ὡς φύλλα διὰ τὰς ἀνομίας ἡμῶν οὕτως ἄνεμος οἴσει ἡμᾶς

An aside: can anyone explain why the nun in the first word וַנְּהִי (which I suppose is waw-consecutive imperfective reduced 1st c.pl. of הָיָה) is geminate/long (i.e. why the dagesh)?

Many thanks in advance.
- Max S-R
"I yam what I yam." - Popeye the Sailor Man
שְׁתֵה בַיּוֹם עֲדֵי יִפֶן וְשֶׁמֶשׁ
עֲלֵי כַסְפּוֹ יְצַפֶּה אֶת זְהָבוֹ

8-)
Glenn Dean
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by Glenn Dean »

וַעֲוֺנֵ֖נוּ is plural, but it is in the construct state (not sure why the Yod is missing though before they add the pronominal suffix).

וַנְּהִ֤י has the dagesh because, when you prefix with the waw-consecutive "Vav", they add a dagesh to the very next letter. This is because the vowel on the waw-consecutive is a short vowel (i.e. pathach), so to close the syllable they put the dagesh on the next letter.
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Max S-R
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by Max S-R »

Thanks, Glenn! What you say makes good sense.

I'm still not quite sure as to the first question, though, and I guess the problem I have with the plurality of וַעֲוֺנֵ֖נוּ is that BDB lists the plural of עָוֹן as heteroclitic (fem.) עֲוֹנוֹת, and the wiki table corroborates here (although wiktionary is far from reliable). I suspect that it is this very 'disagreement' that caused the authors of the Septuagint to hedge their bets with the roundabout phrasing they use.
But then, supposing that the word had 'normal' masc. pl. forms, all it would take to make this a proper construct would be a missing yod, right?, as you say? So that's a perfectly good explanation to me! A simple scribal error.
"I yam what I yam." - Popeye the Sailor Man
שְׁתֵה בַיּוֹם עֲדֵי יִפֶן וְשֶׁמֶשׁ
עֲלֵי כַסְפּוֹ יְצַפֶּה אֶת זְהָבוֹ

8-)
Glenn Dean
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by Glenn Dean »

Ah, thanxs for pointing that out, I totally missed that this is a masc noun but it's plural has the "ot" ending (there's an example of the plural in Lev 16:21).

Hopefully someone else will come along that can explain why the construct is the way it is,

Glenn
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Jason Hare
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by Jason Hare »

Hi, Max.

I haven’t yet looked at Glenn’s responses. Just going to respond as things unfold on the thread. By the way, thanks for including the entire verse about which you’re asking. In the BHS, this is verse 5, so including the quotation helped me locate it within the context. :)
Max S-R wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:10 amAn aside: can anyone explain why the nun in the first word וַנְּהִי (which I suppose is waw-consecutive imperfective reduced 1st c.pl. of הָיָה) is geminate/long (i.e. why the dagesh)?
It is part of the vav-consecutive that the following letter takes dagesh. You may be comparing it to וַיְהִי, which doesn’t take dagesh in the yod because of loss of dagesh in yod when it bares vocal sheva (read about “omission of dagesh” in Gesenius §20 l–m). You should regularly expect dagesh after the vav of such verbs with the imperfect. Compare וַיַּ֫עַשׂ “and he made” (from וַיַּעֲשֶׂה), as well as וַיִּ֫בֶן “and he built” (from וַיִּבְנֶה). The loss of dagesh is the exception that proves the rule.
Max S-R wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:10 amMy question is about the agreement of וַעֲוֹנֵנוּ [singular] with יִשָּׂאֻנוּ [plural]. Have I got the grammatical number [as in sg./pl.] of these words right?
Both LXX and Vulgate have plural noun [ἀνομίας, iniquitates], although the Greek has something a bit different:
καὶ ἐξερρύημεν ὡς φύλλα διὰ τὰς ἀνομίας ἡμῶν οὕτως ἄνεμος οἴσει ἡμᾶς
Yes, as far as the grammar is concerned, you have identified the words correctly. עֲוֹנֵ֫נוּ is a singular noun with a plural possessive suffix (1cp). יִשָּׂאֻ֫נוּ as pointed is 3mp with a plural object suffix (1cp). You’re correct in that.

We might suggest an emendation of the vocalization (יִשָּׂאֵ֫נוּ instead of יִשָּׂאֻ֫נוּ to yield a singular verb) without altering the consonantal text. The rendering of ישאנו as οἴσει ἡμᾶς in the Septuagint might suggest that they read it that way in the past, since οἴσει is singular (in contrast to οἴσουσι(ν)), but notice that by rendering עוננו as a prepositional phrase (διὰ τὰς ἀνομίας), the translator changed its function in the sentence, making it a part of the previous phrase and not an option for the subject of the verb, which they shifted out of the prepositional phrase כָּרוּחַ. They rendered it as οὕτως ἄνεμος οἴσει ἡμᾶς, “so shall a wind bear us (away).” The way that the LXX has it does not approach the Hebrew word order literally, so we shouldn’t make too much of its rendering עֲוֹנֵ֫נוּ as plural (as if עֲוֺנוֹתֵ֫ינוּ). It isn’t faithful to the structure of the Hebrew text as we have it, but I assume that your goal is to understand the Hebrew as it stands without emending it (if possible). In this case, I don’t think the LXX is much help toward this goal.

I would probably just understand that עָוֺן might sometimes take a collective sense. It is singular in form, yes, but it obviously refers to actions that people have taken on multiple occasions and should be understood as referring to multiple infractions. In the same way as עַם is singular but can overcome grammar to be referred to in the plural (this is called constructio ad sensum by grammarians), so עָוֺן is grammatically singular but may refer to multiple acts that override strict grammatical agreement.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Hebrew Café
יוֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֭דִּיק נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּ֑וֹ וְֽרַחֲמֵ֥י רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים אַכְזָרִֽי׃
ספר משלי י״ב, י׳
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Max S-R
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by Max S-R »

Thanks, Jason.
Jason Hare wrote:We might suggest an emendation of the vocalization (יִשָּׂאֵ֫נוּ instead of יִשָּׂאֻ֫נוּ to yield a singular verb) without altering the consonantal text.
It did occur to me that maybe I was letting the Masoretes lead me 'by the nose', & that without the pointing the sg. agreement could easily be made.

I had never heard of this constructio ad sensum, so thank you! It's an apt name. Something like the way neuter pl. nouns in Greek (& Avestan & Hittite) take a sg. verb as (maybe) being considered a 'set of things [= one thing]'.
"I yam what I yam." - Popeye the Sailor Man
שְׁתֵה בַיּוֹם עֲדֵי יִפֶן וְשֶׁמֶשׁ
עֲלֵי כַסְפּוֹ יְצַפֶּה אֶת זְהָבוֹ

8-)
ducky
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Re: Isa 64:6

Post by ducky »

Hi,

Why not just see עוננו as plural and that the word was written without the letter "y" (it happens) --- for עונינו. (like Glenn said).
The form עונינו is also a valid plural (next to the common עונותינו).
For example Jer. 14:7 אִם עֲוֺנֵינוּ עָנוּ בָנוּ.

Or, as Jason said, it is singular with a collective sense.
David Hunter
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