Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ezekiel 15 - short but contentious

Re the traditional gloss 'son of man' for בן־אדם in Ezekiel, I'm taking it as a term of both endearment and responsibility at this point. As with every reading, it is subject to further information...

Ezekiel 15
וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 1 And the word of Yahweh happened to me saying, 10
בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם מַה־יִּֽהְיֶ֥ה עֵץ־הַגֶּ֖פֶן מִכָּל־עֵ֑ץ
הַזְּמוֹרָ֕ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָיָ֖ה בַּעֲצֵ֥י הַיָּֽעַר
2 Child of humanity, why is the tree of the vine more than any tree
of the pruned that are among the trees of the wood?
13
13
הֲיֻקַּ֤ח מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ עֵ֔ץ לַעֲשׂ֖וֹת לִמְלָאכָ֑ה
אִם־יִקְח֤וּ מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ יָתֵ֔ד לִתְל֥וֹת עָלָ֖יו כָּל־כֶּֽלִי
3 Does one take from it timber to make something in a line of work?
As if one could take from it a tent peg to hang any vessel on it!
13
15
הִנֵּ֥ה לָאֵ֖שׁ נִתַּ֣ן לְאָכְלָ֑ה
אֵת֩ שְׁנֵ֨י קְצוֹתָ֜יו אָכְלָ֤ה הָאֵשׁ֙ וְתוֹכ֣וֹ נָחָ֔ר הֲיִצְלַ֖ח לִמְלָאכָֽה
4 Behold, to fire it is consigned as fuel.
Both its extremities the fire devours. And its midst parched, does it thrive in a line of work?
9
21
הִנֵּה֙ בִּֽהְיוֹת֣וֹ תָמִ֔ים לֹ֥א יֵֽעָשֶׂ֖ה לִמְלָאכָ֑ה
אַ֣ף כִּי־אֵ֤שׁ אֲכָלַ֙תְהוּ֙ וַיֵּחָ֔ר וְנַעֲשָׂ֥ה ע֖וֹד לִמְלָאכָֽה
5 Behold, when it was complete, it would not do for any line of work,
So now, because fire has devoured it and it is burned, and will it still do for any line of work?
14
18
לָכֵ֗ן כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר עֵץ־הַגֶּ֙פֶן֙ בְּעֵ֣ץ הַיַּ֔עַר אֲשֶׁר־נְתַתִּ֥יו לָאֵ֖שׁ לְאָכְלָ֑ה
כֵּ֣ן נָתַ֔תִּי אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֖י יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם
6 Therefore thus says my Lord Yahweh, As the tree of the vine among the trees of the forest that I have given to fire for fuel,
so I will give the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
32
11
וְנָתַתִּ֤י אֶת־פָּנַי֙ בָּהֶ֔ם מֵהָאֵ֣שׁ יָצָ֔אוּ וְהָאֵ֖שׁ תֹּֽאכְלֵ֑ם
וִֽידַעְתֶּם֙ כִּֽי־אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה בְּשׂוּמִ֥י אֶת־פָּנַ֖י בָּהֶֽם
7 And I have let my presence be against them. From the fire they will go out and the fire will devour them,
and you will know that I am Yahweh, when I set in place my presence against them.
21
15
וְנָתַתִּ֥י אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ שְׁמָמָ֑ה
יַ֚עַן מָ֣עֲלוּ מַ֔עַל נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִֽה
8 And I will give the land to desolation,
because they have trespassed a trespass. An oracle of my Lord Yahweh.
11
14
I must admit starting in the middle of this book is probably unwise. Verse 7 raises a host of questions. How much presence, face is gift and how much horror? When is ב in, amongwithin, and when is it against? I see only 7 places where the three stems נתן, את, פנה are used in sequence and they are all very different contexts. In some the face might just be a preposition. But I see many places in the KJV where the phrase 'set my face against' is used and not just with these words. It is an understatement that a word like נתן is "used with greatest latitude of application" - over 100 differing English glosses are used in the King James version for this one root whose base concept is giving. It is a question for me when the same English phrase is used for many Hebrew phrases.

Verse 8b has raised many questions for me. Why is there a recurring מעל. That first word also is a rogue conjunction for me so far. After 70000 or so words, I've only just encountered it. It sounds like למען (so that, for the sake of) but it is rendered as equivalent to the simpler and more common כי?

By the way, today the 'decided words' - words I've read and confirmed so far - 68842, exceeded the complete unknowns for the first time. I'm down from over 75000 complete unknowns to 68333 in a period of just under a month. At this rate the data should be much cleaner in about 6 or 7 months. Remind me I am not in a hurry.


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