Confused by the lemma of Elohim

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Lankford Oxendine | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Mar 22 2012 7:11 PM

In Psalm 82:1 of the KJV, the lemma for Elohim is אלהים.  In Psalm 82:6, the lemma for Elohim is אלה. Can someone explain the difference to me?  I noticed that the manuscript form is the same for both verses. If the difference is an issue of morphology, I thought that was indicated with the manuscript form and not the lexical form.  Why does the BHS have the lemma's identical in these two verses? Thanks for your help!

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ROGER JIMENEZ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2012 7:38 PM

What an issue!

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 22 2012 8:11 PM

Lankford Oxendine:

In Psalm 82:1 of the KJV, the lemma for Elohim is אלהים.  In Psalm 82:6, the lemma for Elohim is אלה. Can someone explain the difference to me?  I noticed that the manuscript form is the same for both verses. If the difference is an issue of morphology, I thought that was indicated with the manuscript form and not the lexical form.  Why does the BHS have the lemma's identical in these two verses? Thanks for your help!

 

אֱלֹהִ֣ים is actually the plural of אֱלוֹהּ so there is no lemma אֱלֹהִ֣ים.  The plural can be considered differently as either the plural of majesty of as a true plural.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 12:48 AM

George Somsel:

Lankford Oxendine:

In Psalm 82:1 of the KJV, the lemma for Elohim is אלהים.  In Psalm 82:6, the lemma for Elohim is אלה. Can someone explain the difference to me?  I noticed that the manuscript form is the same for both verses. If the difference is an issue of morphology, I thought that was indicated with the manuscript form and not the lexical form.  Why does the BHS have the lemma's identical in these two verses? Thanks for your help!

אֱלֹהִ֣ים is actually the plural of אֱלוֹהּ so there is no lemma אֱלֹהִ֣ים.  The plural can be considered differently as either the plural of majesty of as a true plural.

Personally learned Lexham Hebrew Interlinear (LHI) displays one lemma in Psalm 82:6 interlinear, yet right click shows a homograph, which was used to open HALOT and BDB (part of definition 1.a agrees with George).  For screen shot, clicked TWOT number in BDB to open TWOT:

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 255
ROGER JIMENEZ | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 7:28 AM

What makes this issue even more interesting is that Jesus quoted in NT. If at that time caused great controversy, one might ask several questions. What was the purpose of Jesus to cite this text? Does he want only to confound the Pharisees? (Of course not!) So, how he read the text and how the jews did? On this matter (John 10:34), the IVP says:

"Psalm 82:6 in context refers to powerful people, probably the kings of the earth viewed as God’s divine council; those kings considered themselves divine, but they would perish like mortals. In Jewish tradition, however, this verse was sometimes applied out of context to Israel as recipients of the divine law, as Jesus apparently knows." (Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Jn 10:34). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.)

What about the lemmas? A very very new stuff. Don't think it can helps even a little in this.

The Stone Edition of The Tanach keep both terms v.2 and v. 6, identical: אֱֽלֹהִ֗ים, but it translates (verse 6), as "your are angelic..." (¡?) and claims to use the traditional texts Mikraos Gedolos edition.

Saludos.

 

Posts 242
Lankford Oxendine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 2:09 PM

Thanks for the responses.  I must admit that I am still confused as to what is taking place.  I'm trying to determine how may times Elohim occurs in the Old Testament.  If I click on Hebrew Elohim in KJV Psalm 82:1 and click "search this resource" I get 1064 results.  If I do the same thing for Elohim in Psalm 82:6 I get 1541 results (2 different Lemmas but same manuscript form?)  If I do the same search in BHS, I get 2601 results for Ps 82:1 and Ps 82:6.  So why does BHS indicate the same Lemma for vs 1 and 6, but the KJV is indicating two different Lemmas?

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 2:15 PM

Lankford Oxendine:

Thanks for the responses.  I must admit that I am still confused as to what is taking place.  I'm trying to determine how may times Elohim occurs in the Old Testament.  If I click on Hebrew Elohim in KJV Psalm 82:1 and click "search this resource" I get 1064 results.  If I do the same thing for Elohim in Psalm 82:6 I get 1541 results (2 different Lemmas but same manuscript form?)  If I do the same search in BHS, I get 2601 results for Ps 82:1 and Ps 82:6.  So why does BHS indicate the same Lemma for vs 1 and 6, but the KJV is indicating two different Lemmas?

Believe the one from BHS.  Remember, sometimes it is a plural of majesty and sometimes a real plural.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 242
Lankford Oxendine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 3:11 PM

Thanks George for your patience.  I believe that a light bulb just went off.  Let me make sure my thinking is correct:

1)  Is it ok to use singular vs plural distinction instead of plural of majesty vs real plural distinction?

 

2)  Is it correct to say that the morphology of the KJV interlinear is inflecting Elohim to indicate singular vs. plural use but the BHS is not?

 

3)  If 2) is true, how is the distinction made (Grammar, grammar and context)

 

4)  If grammar is the answer to 3), I understand subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent agreement, but what if Elohim is the indirect or direct object?  How do you tell if singular or plural use?

Once again, thanks for your help!

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2012 4:42 PM

Lankford Oxendine:

Thanks George for your patience.  I believe that a light bulb just went off.  Let me make sure my thinking is correct:

1)  Is it ok to use singular vs plural distinction instead of plural of majesty vs real plural distinction?

 

אלהים is plural—period.  While the English may be singular, that does not change the underlying Hebrew.  You might compare the "royal we" in English where a singular person is referenced.  When it says

אֱֽלֹהִ֗ים נִצָּ֥ב בַּעֲדַת־אֵ֑ל בְּקֶ֖רֶב אֱלֹהִ֣ים

God [pl of majesty] stood in the divine assembly,
In the midst of the gods [plural] …

we see two uses of אלהיםthe plural of majesty and a true plural.

Lankford Oxendine:

2)  Is it correct to say that the morphology of the KJV interlinear is inflecting Elohim to indicate singular vs. plural use but the BHS is not?

The morphology of the KJV interlinear is unknown to me since I never use an interlinear and suggest that you don't either.

Lankford Oxendine:

3)  If 2) is true, how is the distinction made (Grammar, grammar and context)

 

4)  If grammar is the answer to 3), I understand subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent agreement, but what if Elohim is the indirect or direct object?  How do you tell if singular or plural use?

KING CONTEXT determines how it is used.  There is really no difference in grammar.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 5:27 AM

George Somsel:

Lankford Oxendine:

2)  Is it correct to say that the morphology of the KJV interlinear is inflecting Elohim to indicate singular vs. plural use but the BHS is not?

The morphology of the KJV interlinear is unknown to me since I never use an interlinear and suggest that you don't either.

Most likely this is a typo in the KJV Interlinear. George's advice is good is you want to learn the Hebrew language—Avoid interlinears. You will never learn the language if you allow those crutches to continually get in your way.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 8:15 AM

Jack Caviness:
Most likely this is a typo in the KJV Interlinear.

Observation: LHI and AFAT also have same lemma tagging as KJV and the other English Reverse Interlinear resources, which all use the same morphology (Anderson-Forbes Hebrew Morphology).

Jack Caviness:
George's advice is good is you want to learn the Hebrew language—Avoid interlinears. You will never learn the language if you allow those crutches to continually get in your way.

Personally using LHI at times to show manuscript and transliteration lines; looking forward to LHI display improvement so can see Hebrew vowel points and transliteration (vertical separation between lines).

Also looking forward to pre-publication => Hebrew Audio Pronunciations

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 2:39 PM

Lankford Oxendine:
In Psalm 82:1 of the KJV, the lemma for Elohim is אלהים.  In Psalm 82:6, the lemma for Elohim is אלה. Can someone explain the difference to me?

Jack Caviness:
Most likely this is a typo in the KJV Interlinear.

No, I don't think it's a typo per se. This is what I think is going on:

Psalm 82:6

This אלהים is a perfectly normal plural, gods. Hence the manuscript form is given as אלה, god.

Psalm 82:1a

This אלהים, on the other hand, is being seen as a proper noun, God. In translations the first letter will normally be capitalized. And proper nouns are, by definition, already singular. Hence no special manuscript form. I base this judgement on:

  1. a quick look at Gen 1:1, which also lists the manuscript form as אלהים.
  2. that little line with letters above. Spelt out that reads noun, proper, divine, singular, masculine, normal (note that the first example has CcP instead of PDS).

Psalm 82:1b

This, however, is another case. This does look like an erroneous tagging. It is clearly plural in English, and I can't see how it can be judged to be a proper noun. Anyone with better Hebrew than me who can?

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