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Exodus 32:17-18

Context
32:17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, 1  he said to Moses, “It is the sound of war in the camp!” 32:18 Moses 2  said, “It is not the sound of those who shout for victory, 3  nor is it the sound of those who cry because they are overcome, 4  but the sound of singing 5  I hear.” 6 

1 sn See F. C. Fensham, “New Light from Ugaritica V on Ex, 32:17 (br’h),” JNSL 2 (1972): 86-7.

2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “the sound of the answering of might,” meaning it is not the sound of shouting in victory (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 418).

4 tn Heb “the sound of the answering of weakness,” meaning the cry of the defeated (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 415).

5 tn Heb “answering in song” (a play on the twofold meaning of the word).

6 sn See A. Newman, “Compositional Analysis and Functional Ambiguity Equivalence: Translating Exodus 32, 17-18,” Babel 21 (1975): 29-35.



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