Re: Seely's Views 2

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Mon Sep 06 2004 - 00:20:00 EDT

On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 18:26:23 -0600 (MDT) gordon brown
<gbrown@euclid.Colorado.EDU> writes:
>
> On Sun, 5 Sep 2004, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:
>
> > As to what was created or formed, the Hebrew for 'heavens' is
> dual, which
> > should specify that there are exactly two. Unless there are two
> heavens
> > reasonably distinguishable, one must ask why God did not reform
> the
> > language or find other terminology so as to be accurate. So it
> seems to
> > me that God accommodated himself to the dual, and that neither of
> these
> > verses is unambiguously accurate, expressing THE truth. If there
> is this
> > accommodation to language, why is further accommodation ruled
> out?
>
> Dave,
>
> You have raised my curiosity about one aspect of the Hebrew
> language.
> Maybe you or a Hebrew scholar can answer it for me. What is the
> significance of a Hebrew word always being used in the dual or
> plural? I
> think that this is true of the word for water. Also much has been
> made of
> the plural nature of Elohim.
>
> Gordon Brown
> Department of Mathematics
> University of Colorado
> Boulder, CO 80309-0395
>
Gordon,
I claim no expertise in Hebrew. I have no idea why 'water' is always
plural. Neither BDB nor TWOT give a reason that I can find. As to
'heaven', BDB says it's plural, but TWOT says that it is dual. It clearly
has the dual form, unless the root is really weird. Since it is always
dual in both Hebrew and Aramaic, there must be a persistent notion behind
its duality. The glossary in Kittel, Hoffer and Wright, /Biblical
Hebrew/, says the dual form is used for things that come in pairs, like
hands and feet, or to denote two of something. The only hint I find in
TWOT is that the term applies to the physical heavens and the abode of
God. Regarding the Aramaic, it refers to "the atmospheric sky, the starry
sky, and the abode of God and angels," which messes up the dual.

Now I hope that someone who knows something about Hebrew will give proper
answers to our puzzle.
Dave
Received on Mon Sep 6 00:41:35 2004

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