Friday, December 02, 2011

How are we doing?

Just read this today:

“Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
“Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.”—Exodus 22:21-25 [Hebrew 20-24]

<idle musing>
Not doing so well, are we?
By the way, I included 22:21 because the Hebrew word order is interesting:
‏ זֹבֵ֥חַ לָאֱלֹהִ֖ים יָֽחֳרָ֑ם בִּלְתִּ֥י לַיהוָ֖ה לְבַדּֽוֹ
translating it in the Hebrew order would give us:
The one sacrificing to the gods must be destroyed, except (the one who is sacrificing) to Yahweh alone. OK you Hebrew linguists, comment on that for me—I'm looking at you, John and Rob : )
</idle musing>


Anonymous said...

Interesting ambiguity: the first three words are, "he-who-sacrifices to-Elohim he-will-be-destroyed." That word "Elohim" is the word use most often of God himself. So all by itself, it could easily be read, "Whoever sacrifices to God will be destroyed."

I'm guessing that would be jarring to the reader, until they kept going and read, "except-it-be to-Yahweh alone-himself."

jps said...

Yes. That's why I posted it. It is somewhat like the build-up in Amos.