Hebrew Word Study: Judges 11:40

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Deacon, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Lets see what we can do with this.

    Judges 11:40 (ta·na(h))


    1. Celebrate: Darby, ASV 1901;

    Example (1901 ASV) - that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

    Other versions with similar connotation:
    2. Sing praises: (GW) - that for four days every year the girls in Israel would go out to sing the praises of the daughter of Jephthah, the man from Gilead.

    3. honor: (NIrV) - Each year the young women of Israel go away for four days. They do it in honor of the daughter of Jephthah. He was from the land of Gilead.


    4. Lament: AV; D-R; ESV; LEB; The Living Bible; NETSeptuagint; NLT; JPS 1917; RSV; NRSV; NKJV;

    Example: (AV) - That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

    Other versions with similar connotations:

    5: Sorrow: (Bible in Basic English) - For the women to go year by year sorrowing for the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite, four days in every year.

    6: Grieve: (GNB) - that the young women would go away for four days every year to grieve for the daughter of Jephthah of Gilead.

    7. Mourn: NAB, The Message, ISV,

    Example: NAB - for Israelite women to go yearly to mourn the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite for four days of the year.

    8; chant dirges: Tanakh - for the maidens of Israel to go every year, for four days in the year, and chant dirges for the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

    9. Bewail: [from the Septuagint] θρηνεῖν

    LES - From year to year the daughters of Israel would go about to bewail the daughter of Jephthah of Galaad for four days of the year.

    Brenton LXX Eng | Jdg 11:40 and it was an ordinance in Israel, That the daughters of Israel went from year to year to bewail the daughter of Jephthae the Galaadite for four days in a year.

    John Wycliffe Bible 1185 | Jdg 11:40 and the custom is kept, that aftir the `ende of the yeer the douytris of Israel come togidere, and biweile `the douytir of Jepte of Galaad `foure daies.

    10. Commemorate: HCSB, NET, NASB, NASB95, NEB, NIV84, NIV2011, REV, TNIV,

    Similar words:

    11. Recount: (CEB) | Jdg 11:40 for four days every year Israelite daughters would go away to recount the story of the Gileadite, Jephthah’s daughter.

    72 Remember: NCV | Jdg 11:40 every year the young women of Israel would go out for four days to remember the daughter of Jephthah from Gilead.

    Rob
     
  2. Deacon

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    Internet search

    Original Word: תָּנָה
    Transliteration: tana(h)
    Part of Speech: Verb

    Strong’s: # - H8567
    Goodrick-Kohlenberger # - 9480
    TWOT # - 2525
    Louw-Nida # - 33.354-33.364 (piel)

    Two biblical occurrences: Judges 5:11 and Judges 11:40

    Questions/observations on the version comparison of Judges 11:40
    Why do the translations differ so much?

    Rob
     
  3. Deacon

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    No bites yet?

    Some more information.

    Manuscript transliteration in Judges 11:40 is “le-tan-note
    verb, piel [the object of the piel verb suffers the effect of the action – in this case the “daughters of Israel” are the object] , infinitive [here it relates to the verb “went”] , construct [relates to the noun in its ending form]


    Version review of Judges 5:11a

    (AV) They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, …​

    Manuscript transliteration: “ye-tan-nu”)
    verb, piel, yiqtol (imperfect) [action unfolding], third-person [they], masculine, plural,

    repeat, rehearse(d), tell(ing), retell, recount, recite, commemorate, sing, chant, give again, give out
    [LXX translations] - ascribe, attribute, relate

    Discussion:
    • Rare words present problems for translators.
    • Sometimes it helps to review other ancient translations (in this case the [Greek] Septuagint) but sometimes they were guessing too!
    • The root of the word [tav – nun – hey] is a homonym [a word that shares the same letters or pronunciation but with different meaning] found two times (Hosea 8:9 and 10) basically meaning “hire”.

    Rob
     
  4. Deacon

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    double post
     
    #4 Deacon, Aug 28, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2014
  5. Deacon

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    There are quite a few Hebrew lexicons of merit; among the best is HALOT ("The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament").

    Another, "A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament" by William Holladay is its little brother and is commonly referred to as "Little Hal". It provides some of the same information in less detail.

    It might surprise some to know that we don't everything about ancient biblical Hebrew.
    There are still some things we have to guess at.

    Looking at the initial paragraph of each lexicon provides an idea about the difficulty of this understanding this word.

    Note the question mark in HALOT; note the abbreviations “sugg” (suggestive) and “dub” (dubious) in Holladay…there is some question about the meaning of the word even in the best of lexicons.

    You don’t pick this up in something like Strong's Concordance with its Hebrew and Greek Lexicon.
    Rob
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    So if the meaning is obscure, the best translation choice would cover the gamut, i.e. commemorate.

    I am reminded of the wry observation about theology: I was confused about my religious beliefs, but after I took theology, I was confused at a higher level. :)
     
  7. Deacon

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    I was going to take a few days to get to that point, Van...

    ...but you've done what my Adult bible class often does and cuts to the chase leaving me with lots of notes and nowhere to go.

    Rob
     
  8. Deacon

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    The Septuagint (Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures) provides an ancient interpretation of the text. These interpreters often used the word “lament” but the question is, was that because ancient commentators usually interpreted the passage with the understanding that Jephthah sacrificed (killed) his daughter?

    Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon mentions the Aramaic translation which translates the word “to narrate”. In Arabic it can mean, “’to celebrate with praise’, probably to ‘utter voice’”.
    Additionally the still more ancient Ugaritic and Akkadian languages, (precursors to ancient Hebrew), sometimes give important clues.

    Barry Webb writes about the passage and mentions this in a footnote:
    To sum things up, translations that use variations of “celebrate” or “lament” in Judges 11:40 may be driven by their interpretation of the passage.

    Rob
     

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