Sunday, January 24, 2016

Where does God occur, and how

OK that's a silly question - but here's what I mean:

The Hebrew for God / gods אלוהם occurs in various forms, construct, with pronouns etc, and alone. When it is alone, it sometimes has the definite article. Most translations ignore the definite article. They gloss it as God rather than the gods. Why?

The distribution is this:
In Torah, with the article 59, without 736
In the former prophets 123 and 386
In the latter prophets 10 and 373 (Jonah gets 5 of the 10)
In the three books of truth, 6 and 437 (3 each for Psalms and Job)
In the five scrolls 31 - all in Qohelet and 13, 0,0 for Lamentations, Song and Esther
In the remaining 141 with and 357 without the article.

In case you were wondering האלוהם never takes construct or pronoun suffixes.

These totals are probably quite close to the right totals, but I have not checked my entire database for errors yet.

Has anyone written about this question?

Update: here's an example from Exodus 3: And Moses was tending the sheep of Jethro his father-in-law, a priest of Midian,
and he drove his flocks behind the wilderness and came to the hill of the gods toward Horeb.
וּמֹשֶׁ֗ה הָיָ֥ה רֹעֶ֛ה אֶת צֹ֛אן יִתְר֥וֹ חֹתְנ֖וֹ כֹּהֵ֣ן מִדְיָ֑ן
 וַיִּנְהַ֤ג אֶת הַצֹּאן֙ אַחַ֣ר הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר וַיָּבֹ֛א אֶל הַ֥ר הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים חֹרֵֽבָה
and some music to help you interpret
Interesting article here.

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