I can't believe my eyes...

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Apr 9 2020 6:58 PM

Will someone from FL please explain the starred note in the LHI from Exo. 23:2.

I am flabbergasted by this and hardly even know how to describe what I'm feeling and thinking. I guess that first of all, I'm wondering where this comes from, considering the Hebrew word the notation is attached to cannot possibly support that meaning. Second of all, the only conclusion that makes sense (despite the fact that it makes no sense at all) is that someone felt either compelled or free to inject into this BIBLE one of the most infamous examples of criminal gaslighting in religious history.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN???

Posts 11190
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 9 2020 9:29 PM

Well, you deviated from the path of Libby-itical righteousness. Libby has the AF, though 'majority' pointing to Swanson is a bit cheap.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 3770
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 9 2020 9:50 PM

Since the verse says "you shall NOT follow a majority" (LEB), it is not difficult to see that this is a double error (probably of fatigue!). One is the most costly word to omit accidentally: not. The other is the placement of the asterix which should come later in the sentence. 

Beyond this, I doubt there is any devilish conspiracy or slander at work. 

Posts 334
Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 9 2020 9:53 PM

First I know next to nothing about Hebrew.

With that said, looking at several translations ( I am pasting the ESV here):

Exodus 23:2 (ESV)

You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,

It looks to me like a typo in that they missed including the "not", as in "you shall NOT follow the majority".

It is indeed an error and needs to be corrected but I don't think it is a case of, to quote you

"someone felt either compelled or free to inject into this BIBLE one of the most infamous examples of criminal gaslighting in religious history."

Just my 2 cents and most likely not worth even that. Wink

Posts 4960
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 9 2020 11:31 PM

Just to bring everyone up to speed on this...

The fundamental Biblical support for rabbinic authority is Exo. 23:2. But you can hover your cursor over that reference and see what it says--do you see any authorization of rabbinic authority...check, make that SOLE rabbinic authority...to interpret Scripture for YHWH's people?? How do they extricate their authority from this verse? By quoting the verse as "follow the multitude (RABhbiym in Hebrew!)". According to them, the only legitimate interpretation of Scripture is that which is agreed upon by the majority of RABbis, the RABhbiym. The very word "rabbi" comes from the word rabh used in verse 2, which means "multitude" or "majority". But how can they possibly arrive at that interpretation? Obviously, they begin by excising the word "not". Francis said:

Francis:
One is the most costly word to omit accidentally: not.

...except the rabbis didn't "accidentally" omit the word. They willfully and deliberately ignored it.

Let's give this some context. There is an "Explanatory Fable" in the Talmuudh that sets up this shocking interpretation of Exo. 23:2. One rabbi, Rabbi Eliezer, was promoting an interpretation of a situation that the other rabbis disputed. Convinced of his view, Eliezer called for YHWH to perform miracles supporting his position, which He did. The other rabbis were not fazed, and finally YHWH spoke clearly and said, "Rabbi Eliezer is correct." The response of the other rabbis was, "We do not regard a Voice from heaven."

Just to keep this factual and not "my opinion", this is the what the Talmuudh says about this "decision" granting interpretive authority to the rabbis.

Bava Metzia 59b:5בבא מציעא נ״ט ב:ה׳

עמד רבי יהושע על רגליו ואמר (דברים ל, יב) לא בשמים היא מאי לא בשמים היא אמר רבי ירמיה שכבר נתנה תורה מהר סיני אין אנו משגיחין בבת קול שכבר כתבת בהר סיני בתורה (שמות כג, ב) אחרי רבים להטות אשכחיה רבי נתן לאליהו א"ל מאי עביד קוב"ה בההיא שעתא א"ל קא חייך ואמר נצחוני בני נצחוני בני

Rabbi Yehoshua stood on his feet and said: It is written: “It is not in heaven” (Deuteronomy 30:12). The Gemara asks: What is the relevance of the phrase “It is not in heaven” in this context? Rabbi Yirmeya says: Since the Torah was already given at Mount Sinai, we do not regard a Divine Voice, as You already wrote at Mount Sinai, in the Torah: “After a majority to incline” (Exodus 23:2). Since the majority of Rabbis disagreed with Rabbi Eliezer’s opinion, the halakha is not ruled in accordance with his opinion. The Gemara relates: Years after, Rabbi Natan encountered Elijah the prophet and said to him: What did the Holy One, Blessed be He, do at that time, when Rabbi Yehoshua issued his declaration? Elijah said to him: The Holy One, Blessed be He, smiled and said: My children have triumphed over Me; My children have triumphed over Me.

Chullin 11a:2חולין י״א א:ב׳

מנא הא מילתא דאמור רבנן זיל בתר רובא מנלן דכתיב (שמות כג, ב) אחרי רבים להטות

§ After discussing the role of presumptive status in determining halakha, the Gemara discusses the role of the majority. From where is this matter that the Sages stated: Follow the majority, derived? The Gemara is surprised at the question: From where do we derive it? Obviously, it is derived from a verse, as it is written explicitly: “After the majority to incline” (Exodus 23:2).

There it is. All of rabbinic authority is justified by simply ignoring a negation--removing the word "NOT" from the scripture they quote. By removing and ignoring the word "not", the RABbis effectively BECOME THE VERY MULTITUDE THAT FOLLOWS AFTER WICKEDNESS that the Bible admonishes people NOT TO BECOME.

Here is another breakdown of the myth from a website I just pulled up at random...(I bolded the sections directly addressing Exo. 23:2)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Lord God said: “The Law will go out from Me; My justice will become a light to the nations” (Isaiah 51:4). The Psalmist rejoiced, “Blessed is the man You discipline, O LORD, the man You teach from Your Law” (Psalm 94:12). King David consulted no rabbi, but cried for understanding from God:

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes; and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; yes, I shall observe it with mywhole heart.I have not departed from Your judgments; for You have taught me.(Psalm 119: 33-34, 102.)

הורני יהוה דרך חקיך ואצרנה עקב׃

  הבינני ואצרה תורתך ואשׁמרנה בכל־לב׃

ממשׁפטיך לא־סרתי כי־אתה הורתני׃

The rabbis take the opposite view: “from the moment of the giving of the Written Law – ‘from Heaven,’ at Sinai … it is handed over absolutely to the judgment of the human intelligence of the scholars of the Oral Law, who accept the ‘yoke of the kingdom of Heaven’ but give halachic ruling according to their understanding …”.[21] God is not permitted any further role.

In the famous account of a rabbinic dispute over a clay oven, various supernatural signs were given to support the view of a single dissenting rabbi, while the rest of the rabbis persisted in the opposite opinion. Eventually a Voice spoke from Heaven declaring the dissenting rabbi to be correct. To this one of his opponents responded: “it [the Law] is not in Heaven” (i.e. where God may yet rule on its application), but on earth (where the rabbis alone shall have jurisdiction) – at which God laughs and says, “my sons have defeated me”.[22]

The dissenting rabbi, Eliezer the Great (the first rabbi mentioned in the Talmud), was subsequently excommunicated.

From the position of Reform Judaism, Harold I. Saperstein writes, “The implicit understanding was that the law came from the Almighty. But in reaching decisions about it, the rabbis took the authority out of God’s hands.” [22a]

The insidious practice of following human opinions in place of the word of God was already evident at the time of Isaiah. Through this prophet, YHVH lamented:

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of their wise [חכמיו] will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish … You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!” (Isaiah 29:13-16).

Through Jeremiah, the LORD announced:

“The priests did not ask, `Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the Law [תפשׂי התורה] did not know Me [לא ידעוני] …” (Jeremiah 2:8).

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

“How can you say, ‘We are wise, for we have the Law of the LORD,’when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise [חכמים] will be put to shame, they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?” (בדבר־יהוה מאסו וחכמת־מה להם) (Jeremiah 8:8-9).

These prophecies suggest that God remained keenly interested in the way that the Law was applied, and held those accountable who handled it corruptly.

‘It is not in heaven’

The rabbis’ response to the Voice from Heaven is taken from Deuteronomy 30:11-14:

“Now, what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”

While this is presented as proof that God has no further interest in how the Law is interpreted and applied, it is rather a beautiful assurance to anyone who seeks to obey Him. Namely, that the Word of Life is ‘not too difficult for you’, so that you need to rely on the understanding of others. It is not ‘beyond your reach’ – God empowers the humble to obey. ‘It is not in heaven’ – so that none but the super-spiritual should reach it. Nor is it in the depths, i.e. needing to be uncovered through occult or kabbalistic practices. ‘No …,’ it is very near you; ‘it is in your mouth’ (as you read it), ‘and in your heart’ (as you resolve to do it), so that you may obey it!

This requires faith in the Lawgiver to inform the hearts and minds of those who seek Him (the faith King David demonstrates in Psalm 119). But the rabbis have stolen this faith away and redirected it toward themselves – so that most Jews today believe in their rabbi, instead of their God. (cf. Psalm 118:8, טוב לחסות ביהוה מבטח באדם׃)

The reason for rejecting the Heavenly Voice is derived from Exodus 23:2:

“‘It is not in heaven!’ – what did he [i.e. the rabbi who rebuked the Voice] mean by this? Explained Rabbi Jeremiah: that the Torah had already been given at Mount Sinai; we pay no attention to a Heavenly Voice, because THOU hast long since written in the Torah at Mount Sinai, After the majority must one incline.”

A careful review of the Torah reveals that no such command, i.e. to follow after the majority, is to be found. What is written instead, is “You shall not follow a multitude unto evil”.

You shall not follow a multitude to evil, nor shall you incline after the majority to testify in a dispute to pervert

  לא־תהיה אחרי־רבים לרעת ולא־תענה על־רב לנטת אחרי רבים להטת׃

 

On the presumption that they are not out to do evil, but good, and not out to pervert, but to uphold – the rabbis turn this into a positive command: “you must follow after the majority [of the rabbis] to do good”.

Who, then, is the final arbiter of good and evil?

Since God has been purposely eliminated from making such judgments, we must conclude that the rabbis claim this privilege for themselves. Their reading of Exodus 23:2 presumes that ‘good’ is whatever the majority decides.

Can we confidently accept that the rabbis should be custodians of such a radical authority? What do the Scriptures say about the majority view of ‘good’?

“In the Torah, it is difficult to find a place where the majority was not in opposition to the will of God. They were in Egypt. They were in the wilderness. That is the Biblical reason for the wandering in the wilderness. The people would not believe Joshua and Caleb [the minority]. The believed the majority of the spies [the quorum (minyan) in the synagogue was in fact taken from the number of the evil majority, namely ten – see Megilla 23b]. Time after time, Moses stood alone against the majority of the people and the majority of the leaders; e.g., the Golden Calf and the waters of Meribah. In various supernatural ways, God made it clear that Moses was right.

“The rebellion of Korah is an instructive example because it arose concerning the same issues that put Rabbi Eliezer in conflict with … the majority. Korah, Dathan, Abiram, On, and 250 leaders of the people challenged the authority of the Aaronic priesthood and the leadership of Moses. These men were all “princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown”. According to Rashi, Korah… “drew the heads of the Sanhedrin among them … He arose and assembled two hundred and fifty, the heads of the Sanhedrin …”. Had the authority of the majority of the sages been established at that time, Moses would have been excommunicated…”.[23]

The later prophets, also, were a solitary and lonely voice, speaking directly on behalf of God against the prevailing sentiments of Israel’s religious and political leaders – for which they were often persecuted and killed.

The rabbis accept no correction from a prophet.[24]

[21]  Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972 edition, vol. 11, p. 1441.  Aryeh Lieb ben Joseph ha-Kohen states: “the Torah was given to be determined by human intelligence, even if human intelligence errs” (Introduction to Ketzot ha-Choshen).

[22]  Baba Mezia, 59b.

[22a]  Harold I. Saperstein, ‘The Origin and Authority of the Rabbi’, in Elliot L. Stevens, ed., ‘Rabbinic Authority’, CCAR Press, 1982.

[23]  Gruber, op. cit., p. 118, and citing Rashi, BeMidbar 16:1, pp. 162-163.

[24]  Baba Batra, 12a.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On the last point, apparently that includes the Prophet from Nazareth.

Okay, so that should establish the backstory...and with that backstory, I hope folks can see why I'm shocked by this *Note. This note isn't just "wrong" in a pedestrian sense. It's wrong in a shockingly specific and inflammatory sense, in a way that corresponds with one of the most egregious wholesale rejections and perversions of Scripture--AND YHWH's authority--in history.

Posts 126
LogosEmployee

The Lexham Hebrew Interlinear is a linguistic tool for translation and interpretation and is not a translation in and of itself.  The notes are intended to be understood in light of what is also in the interlinear line down below, which includes a "not".

The starred notes have scope only over the idiomatic parts of expressions. Since from a linguistic standpoint "not" almost never affects whether a phrase is idiomatic, it is not included in the starred idiomatic rendering. To demonstrate that this is the case and that nothing sinister is intended there is another example just one line up in Exodus 23:1 where the phrase includes a "not" that is not included in the rendering of the idiom: "you shall not put your hands/join your hands". The idiom popup has only "you shall join hands".

Posts 2977
Forum MVP
Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 10 2020 8:30 AM

Thanks, Jeremy. An enlightening post nonetheless and clarifying for the way that idioms are indicated. 

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 4960
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 2:59 AM

Jeremy Thompson (Faithlife):
The starred notes have scope only over the idiomatic parts of expressions.

Of this I am aware.

Jeremy Thompson (Faithlife):
Since from a linguistic standpoint "not" almost never affects whether a phrase is idiomatic, it is not included in the starred idiomatic rendering.

On this point...huh??? Perhaps I'm jaded, because I'm pretty sure that in L3 (which is my primary workspace), the star notes usually say "Idiom" followed by the idiom. PLEASE COUNT ME AS ONE WHO THINKS THAT IS STILL HOW IDIOMS SHOULD BE HANDLED IN LHI. Frankly, I don't really care about whether something is "idiomatic" in some imagined generic sense. I just want to know what the actual IDIOM being employed says (or is supposed/assumed to say). I went ahead and checked, and this supposed idiom (in verse 2) is not even noted in L3 (I'm quite sure I would have called attention to this years ago, if it had been). The idiom in verse 1, however, is mentioned in the older version of LHI...

Note how it is presented in this earlier L3 version of LHI. The note includes the word "Idiom", which is followed by the specific Hebrew words that are informing the English meaning. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD STILL BE DONE!! [Libronix is better, still and forever.] If this format still existed, I would have been able to determine that the negation was not included in the "idiomatic" phrase being considered, and this hullabaloo (yes, I said it!) could have been avoided.

That said, I personally don't like the decision to address the generic "idiomatic" sense rather than the actual idiom itself. If an idiom is a negation, IT IS A NEGATION. It should be treated as such. Why? This whole thread is evidentiary--cutting corners causes problems.

Posts 11190
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 6:22 AM

David Paul:
I'm quite sure I would have called attention to this years ago

Yea, Libby!!!  Plus you don't have to follow the 6-foot rule with Libby. Big bonus.

I'm surprised you didn't go after 'majority' as baseless and anachronistic. Several of the Qumran/Essene discussions tangle with the usage. 

Added:

You can always tell a Libby screen shot (ignoring the red). Those crispy fonts that never end.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 3770
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 9:13 AM

So idioms... let's take a couple examples in English:

The meaning of the expression: "don't call me, I'll call you." The negation is part of the expression. That is to say, there is not a positive idiom that corresponds to it like "Please call me, I won't call you." So if this expression would be rendered idiomatically, it would have to include the "not".

On the other hand, "not eating crow" is the negation of the idiom "eating crow". So in this case, the idiom isn't "not eating crow" but "eating crow."

The same applies to the examples in the Hebrew text given above. 

But beyond this, I'd like to suggest that you slow down a bit on the EMPHATIC affirmations and sinister declarations with text formatting to boot. You did not understand what was happening with the asterix, that's quite okay. It has now been explained to you. Perhaps this could conclude with "ah sorry, I did not know that, good to know, thank you"? Or must you insist that something is dreadfully wrong here and that somehow this lends illegitimate support to claims of rabbinic authority?

Posts 3953
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 9:45 AM

"It's raining cats and dogs out there."

"It's not raining cats and dogs out there."

Same idiom.

In both sentences, the idiom has the same meaning.

The sentences taken as wholes have opposite meanings.

"It's raining a lot out there."

"It's not raining a lot out there."

In both sentences, "a lot" has the same meaning.

The sentences taken as wholes have opposite meanings.

Posts 1083
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 2:13 PM

Francis:

But beyond this, I'd like to suggest that you slow down a bit on the EMPHATIC affirmations and sinister declarations with text formatting to boot. You did not understand what was happening with the asterix, that's quite okay. It has now been explained to you. Perhaps this could conclude with "ah sorry, I did not know that, good to know, thank you"? Or must you insist that something is dreadfully wrong here and that somehow this lends illegitimate support to claims of rabbinic authority?

Or, as the Wikipedia community puts it, "assume good faith."

Posts 4960
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2020 5:48 PM

Francis:
You did not understand what was happening with the asterix, that's quite okay. It has now been explained to you.

And I accept the explanation, that no ill intent was meant. But I still think that it's inviting problems to have eliminated the inclusion of the Hebrew phrase from the starred notes. To my way of thinking, the ENTIRE PURPOSE (see how I did that?) of an interlinear is to demonstrate as much as possible a literalist one-for-one correspondence from source to target. Given that, the star notes in the current L8 version of LHI are not even attached to the correct words in either verse 1 or verse 2. The star note in L3 handles the idiom much better, imo, in that the star notation is attached to the final word that makes up the idiom, rather than the first. That simply makes sense...but either way, if the note SHOWED the Hebrew phrase that was being considered as idiomatic, there would be far more clarity and much less opportunity to instigate misunderstanding.

Francis:
I'd like to suggest that you slow down a bit on the EMPHATIC affirmations and sinister declarations with text formatting to boot.

I have over two dozen books I'm working on, all of which are text driven and require making use of numerous attention-directing formatting techniques, so it just comes natural to me to use those when I write. I think your sentence above carries much more tangible effect than if it didn't have the formatting...although, if it were me, I would adjust it as follows...

Francis:
I'd like to suggest that you slow down a bit on the EMPHATIC affirmations and sinister declarations with text formatting to boot.

That way, "sinister" has much more punch and menacing weight attached to it! Lightning

Wink

Posts 4960
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 12 2020 4:20 AM

Denise:
I'm surprised you didn't go after 'majority' as baseless and anachronistic.

The word rabh has a basic sense of "large", and the particular kind of large is generally determined by context. Sometimes it's "many", sometimes it's "great", sometimes it's "multitude". I'm not sure I can call "majority" baseless (it's a certain kind of "large", after all), but I can say that when I wrote this...

David Paul:
The very word "rabbi" comes from the word rabh used in verse 2, which means "multitude" or "majority".

 ...I can say that I paused and contemplated the word "majority" for some time. I went ahead and included it, not so much because "majority" is a usage I'm familiar with (the word "majority" does not occur in the Tanakh: of NASB95), but because it is a significant aspect of the identity of those people whose chosen word of self-identification, rabbi, comes from the word rabh. The meaning of "great" (as in "socially significant and important, such that their opinions hold great weight") is the primary semantic force behind their use of rabh for rabbi, but they clearly value the sense of "many" as opposed to "few"...thus calling upon "majority" as both a needed power-play and folk etymology explanation of it.

Of course, I can easily see that their usage as "majority" could be anachronistic, given the lack of that particular semantic sense found in the OT. It's quite possible that the concept of "majority" is something they picked up from their contact with Greek influences. I think a lot of people don't realize that the word for that most Jewish of Jewish institutions--synagogue--is in fact a GREEK word, not Hebrew. It is certainly conceivable that "majority rule", a fundamental construct of Greek democracy, also wormed its way into rabbinic thought through Hellenization, and could have done so quite early...likely post-Alexander. These are suppositions, not statements. I'd like to see the Qumranic discussions you mentioned.

Denise:
Several of the Qumran/Essene discussions tangle with the usage.

If you have any resource recommendations or quotations, I'd appreciate you sharing them. Yes

Posts 11190
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 12 2020 7:06 AM

David Paul:
If you have any resource recommendations or quotations, I'd appreciate you sharing them.

I'm guessing you are well familiar with 'the many'. And any search brings up the Qumran discussions. It pervades the Essene logic, and seems to accompany the not-us logic, and early soteriology. 

My anachronizing was relative to the over-whelming pecking orders, even up to the 19th century, whether family, tribal, governing, etc. Your identity was your position. Even your name was at risk ... end of a family.

I've always wondered at 'the many'. In the OT, a bad king defined 'the many'.  Everybody seriously whacked. A good king, and the rains arrived. You see little discussion of this idea ending probably with Bar Kochba.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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