Hosea 10:5 "calves" or "calf"?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Logos1560, May 4, 2009.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Is the 1560 Geneva Bible's rendering "calf" or the 1611 KJV's rendering "calves" better at Hosea 10:5?

    Hosea 10:5-6a in KJV
    The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Beth-aven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.
    It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb

    Considering all the singular pronouns in the context referring back to this noun, the Geneva Bible's rendering would seem to be better. You also have other references such as 2 Kings 10:29 that indicate that there was only one calf of gold at Bethel [here called Beth-aven]. The other calf at Dan was said to have already been carried away at the time of the writing of Hosea. In addition, Hosea 8:5 and 6 refer to "calf" [singular].

    One author in the 1800's used this verse as one of his examples of evidence of the interpolation of vowel-letters in the text. Charles Wall claimed that before the text was vocalized that the word in the Hebrew at this verse could be read in the singular number or in the plural but that since the insertion of the waw it is confined to the plural. In his 1857 book, Wall asserted: "the superiousness of this waw is established by a very powerful combination of internal and external evidence" (Proofs of the Interpolation of the Vowel-Letters in the Text of the Hebrew Bible, pp. 270-271). For his arguments and claims, see pages 269-271 in this book whose text is available at books.google
     
  2. Eliyahu

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    I thought you know the Basic of the Hebrew Grammar !

    Don't you read the Le-Aeglot in the beginning of the verse? Isn't that the plural of the feminine word Aeglah?

    I am not sure about this word, but the most of the Idol related words are always Plural, because the people were not satisfied with one idol as you can see many idols made and set up by Roman Catholics. They are not satisfied with one idol at home and make many idols inside the cathedrals too.
    Please note the Priests in that verse are not the priests of the Temple of God, but the Chemarim*(Khemarim). This Khemarim appears in Zephaniah 1:4. They wore black costumes and worshipped the Baal and Ashera at the idol houses. But the Idol houses on the mountain or on the hills often had the idols of calves or of goats. I believe there were more idol houses with goat gods.

    The word Beth-Aven means House of Idol, because Aven means the Idolatry and Covetousness. Paul mentioned this Covetousness is the Idolatry ( Col 3:5)

    Today there are many Chemarims at the churches. They wore the uniforms in black color or white color ( Color doesn't matter very much) and they are called, Priests, which is the clergy system but never supported by the Bible as the Bible teaches us the All Believers are the Priests ( 1 Peter 2:5-9). Jesus hates the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans ( Rev 2:6, 15). Nicolaitans are the Clergy ( Nikao+ Laos= rule over the lay people= Clergy system). This group often distort the teachings of the Bible for their convenience, for their interest, for their authority and for their power. Their actual lives were totally different from what they preached and therefore Jesus said He HATES the deeds and doctrines of Nicolaitanes.

    Hosea 10 warns a lot about the Idolatry.
    Did you read Matsbotam in verse 2? They ( plural) are Obelisks !
     
    #2 Eliyahu, May 6, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  3. Eliyahu

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    I think I'd better cover the other verses mentioned by OP, which were not covered by my previous post, for the future reference by the readers.

    1) Hosea 8:5, 6 - Both are singular Aegl - male calf, and therefore KJV rendered them into singular. This is a representative Calf for the Idolatry and therefore the original text used the singular.

    2) 2 Kings 10:29 - Plural Aegle- male calves, and therefore KJV rendered it into Singular.
    These are Strong No 5695

    3) Hosea 10:5 - Plural of Aeglah 5697 - female calf or Heifer. KJV rendered it to Plural.

    Hope this clears the questions.
     
  4. Deacon

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    Ehud Ben Zvi’s commentary on Hosea [LINK] considers the feminine plural form of the word used here as an in-your-face insult to the idol worshipers of Beth-aven.

    Translating the word in its plural form doesn’t convey the insult and confuses the reader.

    Rob
     
    #4 Deacon, May 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2009
  5. Eliyahu

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    In order to insult the Idolatry, do we have to distort the original plural word to the singular?

    In general the idols are expressed as Plural almost all the time.
     
  6. Deacon

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    Translating it in its singular form as many modern version do doesn’t convey the insult...
    …but it doesn’t confuse the reader.

    I tried to look for proof regarding your assertion that “idols are expressed as plural almost all the time” and quickly realized it really doesn’t mean anything.
    So what? The word “idols” is plural!

    Let me add another maxim: When one idol is meant it is expressed as singular almost all the time.

    But I digress; Logos1560 found an exception in Hosea 10:5

    Before I stumbled into my brilliant adage, I came across Hosea 4:12.

    My people ask counsel at their stocks,
    And their staff declareth unto them:

    Hosea 4:12a AV 1873

    Do you consider the AV’s translation, “stocks” a plural noun?
    If not, this claim looses ground rather quickly.
    If you consider “stocks” plural, was it okay for the KJV translators to make it so?
    It is a masculine, singular noun in Hebrew.

    My New Revised Standard Version does a better job in its translation.

    My people consult a piece of wood,
    and their divining rod gives them oracles.

    Hosea 4:12a NRSV

    Rob
     
  7. Eliyahu

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    There is no reason to change the Plural Word into Singular word in Hosea 10:5. Please check with Otsav ( 6091)

    Can you see " Only in Plural" in the following?

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6091&t=KJV

    KJV has a good reason to express the Singular Masculine into Plural in Hosea 4:12, because
    1) You wouldn't disagree that Am ( People ) is the collective word which contain the plural meaning.

    2) In Hebrew Aets ( Tree, Trees) is also Collective Word.
    Can you read the denotation of Tree and Trees in the following?

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6086&t=KJV

    I have much more evidence for the collective usage of Aets:

    Read Genesis 1:11 - Aets Fri : Representing all the trees producing fruits, but expressed in Singular.

    The followings are the examples:
    Lev 23:40 - Apparently Aets is singular in Hebrew, but it is translated as trees in KJV, which is correct.
    Lev 23:19 - Sg with Kol, translated into Pl.
    Ezekiel 47:12 - Sg but Pl in KJV
    Genesis 3:2,8 - Sg but Pl in KJV

    Even Gen 3:1, Ex 9:25 state " every tree " for " Kol Aets" but they have the meaning of Collective nouns.

    There are many more examples for the collective usage of Aets.
    Therefore we can confirm that both People and Tree are used for collectively plural in Hebrew.

    If you have the bigger dictionary for Hebrew, you can confirm this point about Aets ( 6086). I cannot write down all the explanation about these words from the paper book.
    You have brought a very much valuable argument on these words.

    However, as I explained above, KJV has been correct both in Hosea 10:5 and in 4:12.
     
    #7 Eliyahu, May 10, 2009
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  8. Deacon

    Deacon
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    My maxim still stands:
    When one idol is meant it is expressed as singular almost all the time. :tongue3:

    How can someone who uses Strong’s numbers know about the Hebrew use of trees???
    I’m impressed Eliyahu!!!

    But we’re not really talking about trees there were we?
    In Hosea 4:12 the KJV used the word “stocks”.

    I know it’s off topic…
    …But what are stocks?

    Multiple choice:

    1. Multiple herds of farm animals
    2. An archaic devise used to punish offenders
    3. Part of a company transferable into divided shares
    4. Stumps of trees
    5. Wooden part of gun butts
    6. Wooden blocks
    7. Stores or supplies of accumulated goods
    8. Grouping of herbs of the Mustard family

    Rob
     
  9. Eliyahu

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    When One Idol is meant, it can be expressed as a singular word, but mostly the Idols are plural. If you have any big dictionary of Hebrew, you can often find this point.
    How can you argue about Hosea 10:5? I thought you would have agreed to Word-to-Word rendering there!

    The important point is that there are some Collective nouns in Hebrew which are not collective nouns in English.

    Read Dt 16:21 which has Aets(Sg) and trees in English. This is not a big difference between Trees and Tree products.

    I use Collins English Dictionary and it shows the 44 meanings for Stock, and it also shows the separate usage of Stocks and Stones for inanimate
    objects, which implies the idolatry in OT. I personally interpret stocks as the trunks of the trees for the idolatry. Collins shows " Old English ; trunks of trees"
    The situation is not any convocation where people gathered together and worship only one Idol, but the people of Israel worshipped the idols made of trees individually. For example they may have worshipped Ashera by engraving on the trees or making the trunks of the trees decorated for their idolatry.
    Even today people have such things; I am quite sure that the Christmas Trees are originated from the Green Trees of Ashera ( 2 Kings 17:10, 16:4, 1 Kings 14:23).
    If the trees were cut off for the purposes of Idolatry by many people, were they not the trunks of the trees?

    Christmas Trees are Trunks of Trees which was called Stocks in Old English, and they are nothing but the extension of the Idolatry, changing Ashera to Mary, the Mother of God.

    In Israel, the trunks of the trees were used for worshipping Ashera by many people.

    In that case, should we use Singular or Plural?

    Are the Trunks of the Trees very much different from Trees?

    Moreover, remember this, the subject is People, the Plural noun apparently.

    I wonder why you see the problems with the Word-to-Word rendering in 10:5, and with the apparently collective noun in 4:12.
     
    #9 Eliyahu, May 11, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009

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