Wow! or HUH???

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777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 4:11 AM

Amy Leung:

I suspect that Kelly cannot be entirely right here (I don't use Kelly; I use GKC), because this appears contrary to what I've seen in the bible.  Do you think the word זֶרַע is meant to be singular in Gen 15:13 or Gen 22:17

To investigate the matter I tried looking at all instances where the noun עַם is the subject taking a verb.  I looked at all הָעָם of Genesis and Exodus so far (no time for the whole bible Wink).  I may have missed one or two but the overwhelming instances of the verbs used by עַם is singular.  And most (12/16=75%) of the plural ones either have modifiers to the noun (min, kol) or follows a singular verb in the succeeding clause(s) after waw(s).  

Singular verbs: Gen 41:55, Ex 1:20Ex 4:31, Ex 5:12, Ex 12:27, Ex 12:34, Ex 13:17 (one sing and one pl in the next clause after a waw), Ex 14:5, Ex 16:4 (one sing, one pl in succeeding clause after a waw), Ex 17:2, Ex 17:3 (x2), Ex 17:6, Ex 18:13, Ex 18:14, Ex 18:15, Ex 18:23, Ex 19:9, Ex 19:16, Ex 19:23, Ex 20:18, Ex 20:21, Ex 24:3, Ex 32:1 (x2), Ex 32:6, Ex 32:21, Ex 32:31, Ex 33:4, Ex 33:10 (x2), Ex 36:6.

Plural verbs: Ex 13:17 (see above), Ex 14:31, Ex 15:24 (sing in the App), Ex 16:4 (see above), Ex 16:27 (after min), Ex 16:30, Ex 19:8 (after kol), Ex 20:18 (1x after kol, 2x in succeeding clauses after a waw) Ex 32:3 (after kol), Ex 32:6 (in the succeeding clauses after a waw), Ex 33:8 (after kol), Ex 33:4 (2x both in the succeeding clauses after waws), 36:5

So my conclusion is that one cannot look at a singular verb and say that the noun is singular and cannot be collective.  This is not valid argument.  Though when a verb is plural then the noun is likely collective.  Of course one also has to take into account of other reasons whereby the number in nouns and verbs may not agree (poetic license etc).

 

Hi Amy,

I have not had an opportunity to go over what you obviously spent some time putting together, but I shall endeavour to do so.  I wanted to ask you if you havd any references to collective nouns and their relationship to verbs in your GKC?  I'm curious to take a look at that.  I have a printed GKC here in my library.

Thank you,

Mike

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Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 5:42 AM

The collective nouns are addressed in GKC §123 (P.394-5 in my hardcopy).  But neither GKC nor Jouon-Muraoka (Rev) (§135) makes a statement like Keller, not that that might mean anything.   Wink

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777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:02 AM

Amy Leung:

The collective nouns are addressed in GKC §123 (P.394-5 in my hardcopy).  But neither GKC nor Jouon-Muraoka (Rev) (§135) makes a statement like Keller, not that that might mean anything.   Wink

Thank you, Amy.  I was just looking for references to Genesis 3:15 in my Logos resources and I came up with this in A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (Christo H.J. van der Merwe, Jackie A. Naudé, & Jan H. Kroeze) where the authors translate Genesis 3:15.  This is based on the pronouns used and not the verbs:

§36.1. Personal Pronouns

Do you have this resource available in Logos?

I'll take a look at your references in GKC and Jouon-Muraoka tonight when I get home from work (I work swingshift) as it's wind-down time now.  I'll also get out the Weingreen, Seow, and whatever else I can dredge up on my shelves here and spend some time on this.  I have no doubt that you are on to something that I need to take a deeper look at.  At my age I seem to forget more than I soak up anymore.  Stick out tongue  Thanks!

Mike

 

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777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:28 AM

Amy Leung:

The collective nouns are addressed in GKC §123 (P.394-5 in my hardcopy).  But neither GKC nor Jouon-Muraoka (Rev) (§135) makes a statement like Keller, not that that might mean anything.   Wink

Hi Amy!

Thanks to you, I found it in my Logos 4 GKC at :

§ 123. The Representation of Plural Ideas by Means of Collectives, and by the Repetition of Words.

I have Jouon-Muraoka here in print (2 volume set) and I'll look it up there tomorrow and in Lambdin as well.  Thanks for the project.  This will keep me busy for a week or so.  Big Smile

Mike

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777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:30 AM

P.S. - I HAD to go read the GKC entry on collectives before I could get some sleep.  Big Smile

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:32 AM

Amy and MikeM...

thanks for the direct links to Logos resources...

and please...keep this conversation going (and if you could "dumb it down" slightly) so the rest of us can follow and benefit... Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:38 AM

Robert Pavich:

Amy and MikeM...

thanks for the direct links to Logos resources...

and please...keep this conversation going (and if you could "dumb it down" slightly) so the rest of us can follow and benefit... Big Smile

Yes please, me too.

Ted

Dell, studio XPS 7100, Ram 8GB, 64 - bit Operating System, AMD Phenom(mt) IIX6 1055T Processor 2.80 GHZ

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Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 6:39 AM

MikeM:

P.S. - I HAD to go read the GKC entry on collectives before I could get some sleep.  Big Smile

Okay take care.   Big Smile 

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

Posts 405
Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 5:54 PM

MikeM:

I have Jouon-Muraoka here in print (2 volume set) and I'll look it up there tomorrow and in Lambdin as well.  Thanks for the project.  This will keep me busy for a week or so.  Big Smile

Mike, I got an idea for you.  Big Smile  Why don't you investigate the matter by looking at the OT text for the answer?  You could run a word study with your L4 on the word זֶרַע, and then look at all the sentences where the word is translated as "offspring", "children", "descendent" and so on, determine which sentences have the word as a subject, and look at the verb form of the verb which the word זֶרַע uses and see if they're singular or plural.  Then you'll find the answer to your question (I haven't done that yet but I think I know the answer already Wink).

 

That would beat looking up one textbook after another, because (1) the textbooks may not have your answer, (2) what is written in a book does not necessarily mean that it must be correct, and (3) what is worse, sometimes one book may not agree with another, then you'll be as lost as you started.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 5:59 PM

Amy Leung:

Mike, I got an idea for you.   Why don't you investigate the matter by looking at the OT text for the answer?  You could run a word study with your L4 on the word זֶרַע, and then look at all the sentences where the word is translated as "offspring", "children", "descendent" and so on, determine which sentences have the word as a subject, and look at the verb form of the verb which the word זֶרַע uses and see if they're singular or plural.  Then you'll find the answer to your question (I haven't done that yet but I think I know the answeer already).

...

That would beat looking up one textbook after another, because (1) the textbooks may not have your answer, (2) what is written in a book does not necessarily mean that it must be correct, and (3) what is worse, sometimes one book may contradict with another, then you'll be as lost as you started.

Have you guys seen the thread where I posted a video showing how to do a word study on the pronoun he, and Kevin Becker followed up with a video on why a word study on the pronoun isn't sufficient and he showed how to do it on the noun seed?  (I wasn't wanting to jump in on this particular exegetical discussion but wanted to use that as an excuse to make a training video on how to use some Logos features)

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/9406.aspx

Posts 405
Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 7:46 PM

Rosie, thanks for the pointer, I didn't know there was another thread on this topic.  Smile

I'll have to agree with Kevin as I think that neither the pronoun nor the verb form here gives us the answer.  The answer has to come from something else (here I would lean on the context, and what does and does not make sense).

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777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 5:48 AM

Amy Leung:

MikeM:

I have Jouon-Muraoka here in print (2 volume set) and I'll look it up there tomorrow and in Lambdin as well.  Thanks for the project.  This will keep me busy for a week or so.  Big Smile

Mike, I got an idea for you.  Big Smile  Why don't you investigate the matter by looking at the OT text for the answer?  You could run a word study with your L4 on the word זֶרַע, and then look at all the sentences where the word is translated as "offspring", "children", "descendent" and so on, determine which sentences have the word as a subject, and look at the verb form of the verb which the word זֶרַע uses and see if they're singular or plural.  Then you'll find the answer to your question (I haven't done that yet but I think I know the answer already Wink).

 

That would beat looking up one textbook after another, because (1) the textbooks may not have your answer, (2) what is written in a book does not necessarily mean that it must be correct, and (3) what is worse, sometimes one book may not agree with another, then you'll be as lost as you started.

 

Hi Amy,

I *think* I found what I was looking for as I distinctly remember the verb being  key to getting the picture on collectives.  I have way too much information here and sometimes I have trouble remembering where I got an idea from.

Anyway, I got out my copy of Biblical Hebrew, A Text and Workbook by Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel, Vicki Hoffer, & Rebecca Abts Wright and looked up Collective Noun in the glossary:

Collective Noun

A collective noun is singular in form although it refers to more than one individual.  In Hebrew it may take either singular or plural modifiers and either a singular or plural verb.

I Kings 18:39 is given as an example of a singular verb with a collective subject using the words (translated to English) "and all the people saw."  Though the subject of the sentence all the people refers to many individuals, it designates the group as a unit and so the verb is singular.  It is of course possible to have a plural verb with all the people but in that case the emphesis is on each individual in the group.  An example of all the people in Exodus 19:8 is given with plural verbs.

I have some more homework to do on this, but I do remember that the verb has a lot to do with the interpretation of the collective.  If I find anything else of value on this, I'll report back.  Sorry about being slow to get back, but I've had tons to take care of at work.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

As an aside, it is interesting to look at the seed being spoken of in Genesis 3:15.  It would indicated that the serpent has offspring or progeny.  In Matthew 13:24-30 Christ gives us the parable of the tares.  What is interesting is that in Matthew 13:36-43 Christ explains this parable to His disciples.  His explanation of the parable is not a parable, but an explanation of the parable.  It makes one wonder about this seed of the serpent.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 13:36-43

But I digress... Smile

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Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 8:32 AM

MikeM:

I *think* I found what I was looking for as I distinctly remember the verb being  key to getting the picture on collectives.  I have way too much information here and sometimes I have trouble remembering where I got an idea from.

Anyway, I got out my copy of Biblical Hebrew, A Text and Workbook by Bonnie Pedrotti Kittel, Vicki Hoffer, & Rebecca Abts Wright and looked up Collective Noun in the glossary:

Collective Noun

A collective noun is singular in form although it refers to more than one individual.  In Hebrew it may take either singular or plural modifiers and either a singular or plural verb.

So according to the book, the verb used by a collective noun maybe singular or plural. 

 

MikeM:

I Kings 18:39 is given as an example of a singular verb with a collective subject using the words (translated to English) "and all the people saw."  Though the subject of the sentence all the people refers to many individuals, it designates the group as a unit and so the verb is singular.  It is of course possible to have a plural verb with all the people but in that case the emphesis is on each individual in the group.  An example of all the people in Exodus 19:8 is given with plural verbs.

I tried to examine the verses in Genesis and Exodus that I have identified, I'm not too sure that they're following the pattern (singular verb emphasizing the group as a unit and plural verb and plural verb emphasizing each individual in the group).  But what is being stressed is very much open to interpretation, different people may have different opinions, so it's hard to draw any hard and fast conclusion here.

But from the book (and also my findings), it is legal for the verb used by a collective noun to be singular or plural.  Therefore it remains that one cannot determine that a noun is singular or collective based on seeing on a singular verb alone.  Smile

Posts 403
777 | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 2:27 PM

Amy Leung:

I tried to examine the verses in Genesis and Exodus that I have identified, I'm not too sure that they're following the pattern (singular verb emphasizing the group as a unit and plural verb and plural verb emphasizing each individual in the group).  But what is being stressed is very much open to interpretation, different people may have different opinions, so it's hard to draw any hard and fast conclusion here.

But from the book (and also my findings), it is legal for the verb used by a collective noun to be singular or plural.  Therefore it remains that one cannot determine that a noun is singular or collective based on seeing on a singular verb alone.  Smile

You are correct in that a singular verb alone cannot determine whether or not a collective noun is singular or plural.  We have not yet determined that the word "seed" is indeed a collective in Genesis 3:15 in that it is ambiguous as far as collectives go.  The words "flock" and "cattle" are obviously collectives, but "seed" may be construed as either a collective noun or a singular object.  If it is a singular object then a singular verb would apply in all cases.  It appears thus far that the last source I brought forth about a collective noun used with a singular verb regards the collective as a group whereas a collective noun used with a plural verb refers to the individuals in the collective is panning true.

Please keep in mind that my original comment was not supposed to be the end-all of the process, but I brought it forth so that everyone could look deeper.  The verb indeed does come into play on this and is not simply to be disregarded in this discussion.  The pronouns are also key to understanding the usage of the nouns in question, or would you have issues with that as well?  Context and other scriptural references may also clear up our understanding of this verse.  Or are you of the mind that it is impossible to gain understanding, completely, of any use of collective nouns?

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 3:06 PM

MikeM:
but I brought it forth so that everyone could look deeper. 

 

It succeeded in that regard and I thank you both for your insightful comments...I now have a lot of reading and studying to do.

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 3:50 PM

One quick question:

Is it at all possible this specific occurance can be read either way? (or both ways: singular & plural)

I am not even a mediocre student of Hebrew so please pardon this question if it is extremely stupid.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 14 2010 4:21 PM

Matthew C Jones:
Is it at all possible this specific occurance can be read either way? (or both ways: singular & plural)

Unlikely. However, I would like to point out that scholars/rabbis/translators all seem to be in agreement - the grammar does not contain the answer to this question. There is legitimate disagreement about the "best" translation - not disgreement based on theological bias. Exploring the grammar is very important; it leads to understanding that there are legitimate arguments on both sides. Which is precisely why I had answered this question with instructions on how to understand the grammar.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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