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(0.19) (2Jo 1:2)

tc The prepositional phrase that begins v. 2, διὰ τὴν ἀλήθειαν (dia thn alhqeian, “because of the truth”), is missing in a number of significant mss, among them Ψ 614 1241 1505 1739 al. However, it looks to be a simple case of homoioteleuton, for v. 1 ends with τὴν ἀλήθειαν. For some of these mss it could be an intentional omission, for the sense of the passage is largely the same without the prepositional phrase (the following adjectival participle, in this case, would simply attach itself to the previous τὴν ἀλήθειαν). The phrase could thus have been viewed as redundant and for this reason expunged from the text.

(0.19) (3Jo 1:6)

sn Which church does the author refer to here? The church where Gaius is, the church where the author is, a different local church where the “brothers” are, or the ‘universal’ church, the church at large? Since the suggestion in 3 John 3 is that the “brothers” have come and testified in the author’s church about what Gaius has done for them, it seems most likely that the “church” mentioned here is also the author’s church, where he is currently located. Other possibilities cannot be ruled out, but seem unnecessarily complicated.

(0.19) (Rev 14:18)

tn On this term BDAG 181 s.v. βότρυς states, “bunch of grapes Rv 14:18…The word is also found in the Phrygian Papias of Hierapolis, in a passage in which he speaks of the enormous size of the grapes in the new aeon (in the Lat. transl. in Irenaeus 5, 33, 2f.): dena millia botruum Papias (1:2). On this see Stephan. Byz. s.v. Εὐκαρπία: Metrophanes says that in the district of Εὐκαρπία in Phrygia Minor the grapes were said to be so large that one bunch of them caused a wagon to break down in the middle.”

(0.18) (Isa 53:12)

tn Scholars have debated the precise meaning of the term רַבִּים (rabbim) that occurs five times in this passage (Isa 52:14, 15; 53:11, 12 [2x]). Its two broad categories of translation are “much”/“many” and “great” (HALOT 1171-72 s.v. I רַב). Unlike other Hebrew terms for might or strength, this term is linked with numbers or abundance. In all sixteen uses outside of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (articular and plural) it signifies an inclusive meaning: “the majority” or “the multitude” (J. Jeremias, TDNT 6:536-37). This term occurs in parallelism with עֲצוּמִים (’atsumim), which normally signifies “numerous” or “large” or “powerful” (through large numbers). Like רַבִּים (rabbim), it refers to greatness in numbers (cf. Deut 4:38; 7:1; 9:1; 11:34). It emphasizes the multitudes with whom the Servant will share the spoil of his victory. As J. Olley wrote: “Yahweh has won the victory and vindicates his Servant, giving to him many subservient people, together with their spoils. These numerous peoples in turn receive blessing, sharing in the “peace” resulting from Yahweh’s victory and the Servant’s suffering” (John W. Olley, “‘The Many’: How Is Isa 53,12a to Be Understood,” Bib 68 [1987]: 330-56).

(0.18) (Jer 46:3)

tn This is often translated “prepare your shields, both small and large.” However, the idea of “prepare” is misleading because the Hebrew word here (עָרַךְ, ’arakh) refers in various senses to arranging or setting things in order, such as altars in a row, dishes on a table, soldiers in ranks. Here it refers to the soldiers lining up in rank with ranks of soldiers holding at the ready the long oval or rectangular “shield” (צִנָּה [tsinnah]; cf. BDB 857 s.v. III צִנָּה) which protected the whole body and the smaller round “buckler” (מָגֵן, magen) which only protected the torso (the relative size of these two kinds of shields can be seen from the weight of each in 1 Kgs 10:16-17). These were to be arranged in solid ranks to advance into battle. It would be pedantic and misleading to translate here “Fall into ranks with your large and small shields at the ready” because that might suggest that soldiers had more than one kind. It is uncertain who is issuing the commands here. TEV adds “The Egyptian officers shout,” which is the interpretation of J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 688).

(0.18) (2Jo 1:1)

tn This phrase may refer to an individual or to a church (or the church at large). Some have suggested that the addressee is a Christian lady named “Electa,” but the same word in v. 13 is clearly an adjective, not a proper name. Others see the letter addressed to a Christian lady named “Kyria” (first proposed by Athanasius) or to an unnamed Christian lady. The internal evidence of 2 John clearly supports a collective reference, however. In v. 6 the addressee is mentioned using second person plural, and this is repeated in vv. 8, 10, and 12. Only in v. 13 does the singular reappear. The uses in vv. 1 and 13 are most likely collective. Some have seen a reference to the church at large, but v. 13, referring to “the children of your elect sister” is hard to understand if the universal church is in view. Thus the most probable explanation is that the “elect lady” is a particular local church at some distance from where the author is located.

(0.16) (Num 9:2)

sn For a detailed study note on the Passover, see the discussion with the original institution in Exod 12. The word פֶּסַח (pesakh) – here in pause and with the article – has become the technical name for the spring festival of Israel. In Exod 12 the name is explained by the use of the verb “to pass over” (עָבַר, ’avar), indicating that the angel of death would pass over the house with the blood applied. Many scholarly attempts have been made to supply the etymology of the word, but none has been compelling enough to be accepted by a large number of biblical scholars. For general literature on the Passover, see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, as well as the Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

(0.16) (Neh 5:5)

sn The poor among the returned exiles were being exploited by their rich countrymen. Moneylenders were loaning large amounts of money, and not only collecting interest on loans which was illegal (Lev 25:36-37; Deut 23:19-20), but also seizing pledges as collateral (Neh 5:3) which was allowed (Deut 24:10). When the debtors missed a payment, the moneylenders would seize their collateral: their fields, vineyards and homes. With no other means of income, the debtors were forced to sell their children into slavery, a common practice at this time (Neh 5:5). Nehemiah himself was one of the moneylenders (Neh 5:10), but he insisted that seizure of collateral from fellow Jewish countrymen was ethically wrong (Neh 5:9).

(0.16) (Psa 4:1)

tn Heb “in distress (or “a narrow place”) you make (a place) large for me.” The function of the Hebrew perfect verbal form here is uncertain. The translation above assumes that the psalmist is expressing his certitude and confidence that God will intervene. The psalmist is so confident of God’s positive response to his prayer, he can describe God’s deliverance as if it had already happened. Such confidence is consistent with the mood of the psalm (vv. 3, 8). Another option is to take the perfects as precative, expressing a wish or request (“lead me”). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew.

(0.16) (Pro 17:1)

tn The house is described as being full of “sacrifices of strife” (זִבְחֵי־רִיב, zivkhi-riv). The use of “sacrifices” suggests a connection with the temple (as in 7:14) in which the people may have made their sacrifices and had a large amount meat left over. It is also possible that the reference is simply to a sumptuous meal (Deut 12:15; Isa 34:6; Ezek 39:17). It would be rare for Israelites to eat meat apart from festivals, however. In the construction the genitive could be classified as a genitive of effect, the feast in general “bringing about strife,” or it could simply be an attributive genitive, “a feast characterized by strife.” Abundance often brings deterioration of moral and ethical standards as well as an increase in envy and strife.

(0.16) (Pro 19:2)

tn The interpretation of this line depends largely on the meaning of נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) which has a broad range of meanings: (1) the breathing substance of man, (2) living being, (3) life, (4) person, (5) seat of the appetites, (6) seat of emotions and passions, (7) activities of intellect, emotion and will, (8) moral character, etc. (BDB 659-61 s.v.). In light of the synonymous parallelism, the most likely nuance here is “zeal, passion” (HALOT 713 s.v. 8). NIV takes the word in the sense of “vitality” and “drive” – “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge” (cf. NCV, TEV, and NLT which are all similar).

(0.16) (Sos 2:5)

tn The imperatives סַמְּכוּנִי (sammÿkhuni, “sustain me”) and רַפְּדוּנִי (rappÿduni, “revive me”) are both plural in address (Piel 2nd person masculine plural imperatives with 1st person common singular suffixes). Thus, some commentators suggest that the woman is speaking to a large audience, perhaps the banquet guests implied in 2:4 or the maidens mentioned in 2:7 (R. Gordis, Song of Songs and Lamentations, 82). However, the Hebrew plural can be used in reference to a single individual when functioning in an intensive sense (IBHS 122 §7.4.3a). Thus, the woman may be speaking to her beloved, as in the rest of 2:3-6, but with intense passion. Similarly, in Sumerian love literature the bride sometimes uses plural verbs in reference to herself or her bridegroom (S. N. Kramer, The Sacred Marriage Rite, 92, 99).

(0.16) (Sos 2:15)

tn The imperative אֶחֱזוּ (’ekhezu, “catch”) is plural in form (Qal imperative 2nd person masculine plural from אָחַז, ’akhaz). Some commentators suggest that the woman is speaking to a large audience, perhaps the maidens of Jerusalem mentioned in 2:7. However, the Hebrew plural can function in an intensive sense when used in reference to a single individual (IBHS 122 §7.4.3a). As noted previously, the bride often uses the plural in reference to herself or to her bridegroom in Sumerian love literature. Thus, the woman simply may be speaking to her beloved, as in 2:16-17, but with particularly intense passion.

(0.16) (Sos 3:6)

tn The singular form of רוֹכֵל (rokhel, “merchant”) may be classified as a generic singular, representing the genus of the merchant guild of which there are many. The term רוֹכֵל means “trader, vendor,” as small retailer (HALOT 1237 s.v. I רכל) distinct from סָתַר (satar) “shopkeeper, dealer” as large wholesaler (HALOT 750 s.v. סתר). It may refer to a traveling merchant, as in Middle Hebrew רוֹכְלָה (rokhÿlah) “traveling merchant” and Old South Arabic rkl “to go about as a trader” (Conti 242a). The general nuance appears in Judean Aramaic רוֹכְלָא (rokhÿla’, “hawker, peddler”) and Syriac rakkala “merchant.”

(0.16) (Sos 7:13)

sn In the ancient Near East the mandrake was a widely used symbol of erotic love because it was thought to be an aphrodisiac and therefore was used as a fertility drug. The unusual shape of the large forked roots of the mandrake resembles the human body with extended arms and legs. This similarity gave rise to the popular superstition that the mandrake could induce conception and it was therefore used as a fertility drug. It was so thoroughly associated with erotic love that its name is derived from the Hebrew root דּוֹד (dod, “love”), that is, דּוּדָאִים (dudaim) denotes “love-apples.” Arabs used its fruit and roots as an aphrodisiac and referred to it as abd al- salm (“servant of love”) (R. K. Harrison, “The Mandrake and the Ancient World,” EQ 28 [1956]: 188-89; Fauna and Flora of the Bible, 138-39).

(0.16) (Lam 1:1)

tn Heb “great of people.” The construct רַבָּתִי עָם (rabbatiam, “great of people”) is an idiom for large population: “full of people, populous” (BDB 912-13 s.v. I רַב; HALOT 1172 s.v. 7.a). The hireq-campaginis ending on רַבָּתִי (rabbati), from the adjective רַב (rav, “great”), is a remnant of the old genitive-construct case (GKC 253 §90.l). By contrast to the first half of the line, it is understood that she was full of people formerly. רַבָּתִי עָם (rabbatiam) may also be construed as a title.

(0.16) (Eze 1:1)

sn The Assyrians started the tactic of deportation, the large-scale forced displacement of conquered populations, in order to stifle rebellions. The task of uniting groups of deportees, gaining freedom from one’s overlords and returning to retake one’s own country would be considerably more complicated than living in one’s homeland and waiting for an opportune moment to drive out the enemy’s soldiers. The Babylonians adopted this practice also, after defeating the Assyrians. The Babylonians deported Judeans on three occasions. The practice of deportation was reversed by the Persian conquerors of Babylon, who gained favor from their subjects for allowing them to return to their homeland and, as polytheists, sought the favor of the gods of the various countries which had come under their control.

(0.16) (Eze 29:3)

tn Heb “jackals,” but many medieval Hebrew mss read correctly “the serpent.” The Hebrew term appears to refer to a serpent in Exod 7:9-10, 12; Deut 32:33; and Ps 91:13. It also refers to large creatures that inhabit the sea (Gen 1:21; Ps 148:7). In several passages it is associated with the sea or with the multiheaded sea monster Leviathan (Job 7:12; Ps 74:13; Isa 27:1; 51:9). Because of the Egyptian setting of this prophecy and the reference to the creature’s scales (v. 4), many understand a crocodile to be the referent here (e.g., NCV “a great crocodile”; TEV “you monster crocodile”; CEV “a giant crocodile”).

(0.16) (Jon 2:3)

tn Heb “your… your…” The 2nd person masculine singular suffixes on מִשְׁבָּרֶיךָ וְגַלֶּיךָ (mishbarekha vÿgallekha, “your breakers and your waves”) function as genitives of source. Just as God had hurled a violent wind upon the sea (1:4) and had sovereignly sent the large fish to swallow him (1:17 [2:1 HT]), Jonah viewed God as sovereignly responsible for afflicting him with sea waves that were crashing upon his head, threatening to drown him. Tg. Jonah 2:3 alters the 2nd person masculine singular suffixes to 3rd person masculine singular suffixes to make them refer to the sea and not to God, for the sake of smoothness: “all the gales of the sea and its billows.”

(0.16) (Mic 2:12)

tn Heb “and they will be noisy [or perhaps, “excited”] from men.” The subject of the third feminine plural verb תְּהִימֶנָה (tÿhimenah, “they will be noisy”) is probably the feminine singular צֹאן (tson, “flock”). (For another example of this collective singular noun with a feminine plural verb, see Gen 30:38.) In the construction מֵאָדָם (meadam, “from men”) the preposition is probably causal. L. C. Allen translates “bleating in fear of men” (Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah [NICOT], 300), but it is possible to take the causal sense as “because of the large quantity of men.” In this case the sheep metaphor and the underlying reality are mixed.

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