Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Handling doubled Hebrew words.

It seems to be an idiom - (takes a while to figure some things out) that ancient Hebrew speakers doubled their words. The KJV usually represents this as emphasis - but maybe it isn't, just idiomatic usage.

Here's a suggestive example from a more modern hand.
(I received a gift from a friend, Dr John Sandys-Wunch, after his death, a Hebrew-English New Testament from the Trinitarian Bible Society, 1831. Actually there's no date or attribution of the work. The printer's name is W. Lewis, M.A.)

The translation of Luke 6:21 is this

אשׁריכם הרעבים כיום כי שבע תשבעון
אשׁריכם הבכים כיום כי שחק תשהקון

Enough already - old print, hard to read and it's late. But translating from the Greek - there's no indication (that I can see) that there is emphasis.

μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε
μακάριοι οἱκλαίοντες νῦν ὅτι γελάσετε

So Bob - the lesson is - just take the doubling in style and don't sweat it - it's idiomatic usage.

Oh - the English
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

It's a poetic rendering of now, more like today. But it is as a day. Today might be היום but it is written כיום. I had to use a magnifying glass to distinguish the kaf from a possible bet (in the day).

The English in the AV has are ye in italics - signifying that it is not in the Greek. The Hebrew has the additional letters to include the plural you.

Anyone out there with other thoughts on this - love to hear from you. The Hebrew has nice poetic scansion. I count the syllables as 8-7, 8-7 and it looks memorable in Hebrew, more so than Greek for the similar sounding feel.

This may be worth pursuing... [I reviewed my thought with my Hebrew coach and he did not disagree - there is importance and rhythmic vitality in the repeated word due to the recurrence of the sound, but not necessarily emphasis.]