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(0.16) (Mic 1:2)

tc The MT has the jussive form verb וִיהִי (vihi, “may he be”), while the Dead Sea Scrolls have the imperfect form יהיה (yihyeh, “he will be”). The LXX uses a future indicative. On the basis of distance from the primary accent, GKC 325-26 §109.k attempts to explain the form as a rhythmical shortening of the imperfect rather than a true jussive. Some of the examples in GKC may now be explained as preterites, while others are text-critical problems. And some may have other modal explanations. But other examples are not readily explained by these considerations. The text-critical decision and the grammatical explanation in GKC would both lead to translating as an imperfect. Some translations render it in a jussive sense, either as request: “And let my Lord God be your accuser” (NJPS), or as dependent purpose/result: “that the Sovereign Lord may witness against you” (NIV).

(0.16) (Amo 2:6)

tn Or “honest” (CEV, NLT). The Hebrew word sometimes has a moral-ethical connotation, “righteous, godly,” but the parallelism (note “poor”) suggests a socio-economic or legal sense here. The practice of selling debtors as slaves is in view (Exod 21:2-11; Lev 25:35-55; Deut 15:12-18). See the note at Exod 21:8 and G. C. Chirichigno, Debt-Slavery in Israel and the Ancient Near East (JSOTSup). Probably the only “crime” the victim had committed was being unable to pay back a loan or an exorbitant interest rate on a loan. Some have suggested that this verse refers to bribery in legal proceedings: the innocent are “sold” in the sense that those in power pay off the elders or judges for favorable decisions (5:12; cf. Exod 23:6-7).

(0.16) (Hos 12:8)

tc The MT reads the first person common singular suffix on the noun יְגִיעַי (yegiʿay, “my labors/gains”; masculine plural noun + first person common singular suffix). The LXX’s οἱ πόνοι αὐτοῦ (hoi ponoi autou, “his labors”) assumes a third person masculine singular suffix on the noun יְגִיעַיו (yegiʿayv, “his labors/gains”; masculine plural noun + third person masculine singular suffix). The BHS editors suggest adopting the LXX reading. The textual decision is based upon whether or not this line continues the speech of Ephraim (first person common singular suffix) or whether these are the words of the prophet (third person masculine singular suffix). See the following translator’s note for the two rival lexical meanings that in turn lead to the textual options for the line as a whole.

(0.16) (Jer 17:19)

sn Observance of the Sabbath day (also the Sabbatical year) appears to have been a litmus test of the nation’s spirituality since it is mentioned in a number of passages besides this one (cf., e.g., Isa 56:2, 6; 58:13; Neh 13:15-18). Perhaps this is because the Sabbath day was the sign of the Mosaic covenant (Exod 31:13-17), just as the rainbow was the sign of the Noahic covenant (Gen 9:12, 13, 17) and circumcision the sign of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:11). This was not the only command they failed to obey, nor was their failure to obey this one the sole determining factor in the Lord’s decision to destroy Judah (cf. 7:23-24; 11:7-8 in their contexts).

(0.16) (Isa 7:15)

tn Heb “for his knowing.” Traditionally the preposition has been translated in a temporal sense, “when he knows.” However, though the preposition ל (lamed) can sometimes have a temporal force, it never carries such a nuance in any of the 40 other passages where it is used with the infinitive construct of יָדַע (yadaʿ, “to know”). Most often the construction indicates purpose/result. This sense is preferable here. The following context indicates that sour milk and honey will epitomize the devastation that God’s judgment will bring upon the land. Cultivated crops will be gone, and the people will be forced to live off the milk produced by their goats and the honey they find in the thickets. As the child is forced to eat a steady diet of this sour milk and honey, he will be reminded of the consequences of sin and motivated to make correct moral decisions in order to avoid further outbreaks of divine discipline.

(0.16) (Ecc 8:11)

tn The noun פִתְגָם (fitgam, “decision; announcement; edict; decree”) is a loanword from Persian patigama (HALOT 984 s.v. פִּתְגָם; BDB 834 s.v. פִּתְגָם). The Hebrew noun occurs twice in the OT (Eccl 8:11; Esth 1:20), twice in the Apocrypha (Sir 5:11; 8:9), and five times in Qumran (11QtgJob 9:2; 29:4; 30:1; 34:3; 1QapGen 22:27). The English versions consistently nuance this as a judicial sentence against a crime: “sentence” (KJV, NEB, NAB, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, MLB, YLT), “sentence for a crime” (NIV), “sentence imposed” (NJPS), “sentence on a crime” (Moffatt).

(0.16) (Pro 25:2)

sn The two infinitives form the heart of the contrast—“to conceal a matter” and “to search out a matter.” God’s government of the universe is beyond human understanding—humans cannot begin to fathom the intentions and operations of it. But it is the glory of kings to search out matters and make them intelligible to the people. Human government cannot claim divine secrecy; kings have to study and investigate everything before making a decision, even divine government as far as possible. But kings who rule as God’s representatives must also try to represent his will in human affairs—they must even inquire after God to find his will. This is their glorious nature and responsibility. For more general information on vv. 2-27, see G. E. Bryce, “Another Wisdom ‘Book’ in Proverbs,” JBL 91 (1972): 145-57.

(0.16) (Pro 1:14)

tn Heb “Throw in your lot with us.” This is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis) urging the naive to join their life of crime and divide their loot equally. The noun גּוֹרָל (goral, “lot”) can refer to (1) a lot thrown for decision-making processes, e.g., choosing the scapegoat (Lev 16:8), discovering a guilty party (Jonah 1:7) or allocating property (Josh 18:6); (2) an allotted portion (Josh 15:1) or (3) allotted fate or future destiny (Prov 1:14; Dan 12:13; see BDB 174 s.v.). Here the criminals urged the lad to share their life. The verb תַּפִּיל (tappil) is an imperfect of injunction: “Throw in…!” but might also be an imperfect of permission: “you may throw.” It functions metonymically as an invitation to join their life of crime: “share with us” (BDB 658 s.v. 3).

(0.16) (Psa 58:1)

tn Heb “Really [in] silence, what is right do you speak?” The Hebrew noun אֵלֶם (ʾelem, “silence”) makes little, if any, sense in this context. Some feel that this is an indictment of the addressees’ failure to promote justice; they are silent when they should make just decisions. The present translation assumes an emendation to אֵלִם (ʾelim), which in turn is understood as a defectively written form of אֵילִים (ʾelim, “rulers,” a metaphorical use of אַיִל, ʾayil, “ram”; see Exod 15:15; Ezek 17:13). The rhetorical question is sarcastic, challenging their claim to be just. Elsewhere the collocation of דָּבַר (davar, “speak”) with צֶדֶק (tsedeq, “what is right”) as object means “to speak the truth” (see Ps 52:3; Isa 45:19). Here it refers specifically to declaring what is right in a legal setting, as the next line indicates.

(0.16) (Ezr 1:1)

tn Heb “stirred the spirit of.” The Hebrew noun רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) has a broad range of meanings (see BDB 924-26 s.v.). Here, it probably refers to (1) “mind” as the seat of mental acts (e.g., Exod 28:3; Deut 34:9; Isa 29:24; 40:13; Ezek 11:5; 20:32; 1 Chr 28:12; cf. BDB 925 s.v. 6) or (2) “will” as the seat of volitional decisions (e.g., Exod 35:5, 22; Pss 51:12, 14; 57:8; 2 Chr 29:31; cf. BDB 925 s.v. 7). So also in v. 5. The entire phrase “stirred the spirit” has been rendered as “motivated” to better reflect normal English.

(0.16) (2Ch 36:22)

tn Heb “stirred the spirit of.” The Hebrew noun רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) has a broad range of meanings (see BDB 924-26 s.v.). Here, it probably refers to (1) “mind” as the seat of mental acts (e.g., Exod 28:3; Deut 34:9; Isa 29:24; 40:13; Ezek 11:5; 20:32; 1 Chr 28:12; cf. BDB 925 s.v. 6) or (2) “will” as the seat of volitional decisions (e.g., Exod 35:5, 22; Pss 51:12, 14; 57:8; 2 Chr 29:31; cf. BDB 925 s.v. 7). So also in Ezra 1:5. The entire phrase “stirred the spirit” has been rendered as “motivated” to better reflect normal English.

(0.16) (Num 27:21)

sn The new leader would not have the privilege that Moses had in speaking to God face-to-face. Rather, he would have to inquire of the Lord through the priest, and the priest would seek a decision by means of the Urim. The Urim and the Thummim were the sacred lots that the priest had in his pouch, the “breastplate” as it has traditionally been called. Since the Law had now been fully established, there would be fewer cases that the leader would need further rulings. Now it would simply be seeking the Lord’s word for matters such as whether to advance or not. The size, shape or substance of these objects is uncertain. See further C. Van Dam, The Urim and Thummim.

(0.16) (Exo 21:1)

sn There follows now a series of rulings called “the decisions” or “the judgments” (הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, hammishpatim). A precept is stated, and then various cases in which the law is applicable are examined. These rulings are all in harmony with the Decalogue that has just been given and can be grouped into three categories: civil or criminal laws, religious or cultic laws, and moral or humanitarian laws. The civil and criminal laws make up most of chap. 21; the next two chapters mix the other kinds of laws. Among the many studies of this section of the book are F. C. Fensham, “The Role of the Lord in the Legal Sections of the Covenant Code,” VT 26 (1976): 262-74; S. Paul, “Unrecognized Biblical Legal Idioms in Light of Comparative Akkadian Expressions,” RB 86 (1979): 231-39; M. Galston, “The Purpose of the Law According to Maimonides,” JQR 69 (1978): 27-51.

(0.15) (Jer 31:7)

tc Or “The Lord will rescue his people. He will deliver those of Israel who remain alive.” The translation used in the text follows the Hebrew: “Rescue your people, O Lord, the remnant of Israel.” The alternate translation, which is preferred by several modern English versions (e.g., REB, TEV) and a majority of modern commentaries (see, e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 569; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 273, n. s-s), follows the reading of the Greek version and the Aramaic Targum and appears more appropriate to the context of praise presupposed by the preceding imperatives. The difference in the two readings are the omission of one vowel letter and the confusion of a final ךְ (kaf) and a וֹ (holem-vav), which are very similar in form. (The Greek presupposes הוֹשִׁיעַ יְהוָה אֶת־עַמּוֹ [hoshiaʿ yehvah ʾet ʿammo] for the Hebrew הוֹשַׁע יְהוָה אֶת־עַמְּךָ [hoshaʿ yehvah ʾet ʿammekha].) The key to a decision here is the shift from the verbs of praise to the imperative “say,” which introduces the quotation; there is a shift from praise to petition. The shift in mood is not uncommon, occurring, for example, in Pss 118:25 and 126:4; it is the shift in mood from praise for what has begun to petition for what is further desired. It is easier to explain the origin contextually of the Greek and Targum than it is the Hebrew text; thus the Greek and Targum are probably a secondary smoothing of the text (this is the decision of the D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:263). The mood of prayer also shows up in v. 9 and again in vv. 17-18.

(0.12) (Rev 15:3)

tc Certain mss (P47 א*,2 C 1006 1611 1841) read “ages” (αἰώνων, aiōnōn) instead of “nations” (ἐθνῶν, ethnōn), which itself is supported by several mss (א1 A 051 M). The ms evidence seems to be fairly balanced, though αἰώνων has somewhat better support. The replacement of “ages” with “nations” is possibly a scribal attempt to harmonize this verse with the use of “nations” in the following verse. On the other hand, the idea of “nations” fits well with v. 4 and it may be that “ages” is a scribal attempt to assimilate this text to 1 Tim 1:17: “the king of the ages” (βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, basileus tōn aiōnōn). The decision is a difficult one since both scenarios deal well with the evidence, though the verbal parallel with 1 Tim 1:17 is exact while the parallel with v. 4 is not. The term “king” occurs 17 other times (most occurrences refer to earthly kings) in Revelation and it is not used with either “ages” or “nations” apart from this verse. Probably “nations” should be considered the earlier reading due to the influence of 1 Tim 1:17 on this passage.

(0.12) (2Pe 2:11)

tc Several witnesses lack παρὰ κυρίῳ (para kuriō; so A Ψ 33 81 436 442 1505 1611 1735 1881 2344 2464 al vg co), while others have the genitive παρὰ κυρίου (para kuriou; so P72 5 1241 al syph,mss,h**). The majority of witnesses (including א B C P 1175 1243 1739 1852 2492 M) read the dative παρὰ κυρίῳ. The genitive expression suggests that angels would not pronounce a judgment on “the glorious ones” from the Lord, while the dative indicates that angels would not pronounce such a judgment in the presence of the Lord. The parallel in Jude 9 speaks of a reviling judgment against the devil in which the prepositional phrase is entirely absent. At the same time, in that parallel Michael does say, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Hence, he is offering something of a judgment from the Lord.) The best options externally are the dative or the omission of the phrase, but a decision is difficult. Internally, the omission may possibly be a motivated reading in that it finds a parallel in Jude 9 (where no prepositional phrase is used). All things considered, the dative is to be preferred, though with much reservation. NA28 has the omission preceded by a diamond in the apparatus, indicating a toss-up as to the initial text.

(0.12) (1Pe 1:3)

tn There is no verb in the Greek text; either the optative (“be”) or the indicative (“is”) can be supplied. The meaning of the term εὐλογητός (eulogētos) and the author’s intention at this point in the epistle must both come into play to determine which is the preferred nuance. εὐλογητός as an adjective can mean either that one is praised or that one is blessed, that is, in a place of favor and benefit. Two factors of the author’s style come into play. At this point the author is describing the reality of believers’ salvation and will soon explain believers’ necessary response; this is in emulation of Pauline style which generally follows the same logical order (although the author here discusses the reality in a much more compressed fashion). On the other hand, when imitating the Pauline greeting, which is normally verbless, the author inserts the optative (see v. 2 above). When considered as a whole, although a decision is difficult, the fact that the author in the immediate context has used the optative when imitating a Pauline stylized statement would argue for the optative here. The translation uses the term “blessed” in the sense “worthy of praise” as this is in keeping with the traditional translation of berakah psalms. Cf. also 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3.

(0.12) (Jam 3:8)

tc Most mss (C Ψ 1611 1739c 1244 M as well as a few versions and fathers) read “uncontrollable” (ἀκατασχετόν, akatascheton), while most of the more significant witnesses (א A B K P 1175 1243 1735 1739* latt co) have “restless” (ἀκατάστατον, akatastaton). Externally, the latter reading should be preferred. Internally, however, things get a bit more complex. The notion of being uncontrollable is well suited to the context, especially as a counterbalance to v. 8a, though for this very reason scribes may have been tempted to replace ἀκατάστατον with ἀκατασχετόν. In a semantically parallel early Christian text, ἀκατάστατος (akatastatos) was considered strong enough of a term to denounce slander as “a restless demon” (Herm. 27:3). On the other hand, ἀκατάστατον may have been substituted for ἀκατασχετόν by way of assimilation to 1:8 (especially since both words were relatively rare, scribes may have replaced the less familiar with one that was already used in this letter). On internal evidence, it is difficult to decide, though ἀκατασχετόν is slightly preferred. However, in light of the strong support for ἀκατάστατον, and the less-than-decisive internal evidence, ἀκατάστατον is deemed more likely to be the initial reading.

(0.12) (Heb 8:8)

tc ‡ Several witnesses (א* A D* I K P Ψ 33 81 326 365 1505 2464 al latt co Cyr) have αὐτούς (autous) here, “[in finding fault with] them, [he says],” alluding to Israel’s failings mentioned in v. 9b. (The verb μέμφομαι [memphomai, “to find fault with”] can take an accusative or dative direct object.) The reading behind the text above (αὐτοίς, autois), supported by P46 א2 B D2 0278 1739 1881 M, is perhaps a harder reading theologically, and is more ambiguous in meaning. If αὐτοίς goes with μεμφόμενος (memphomenos, here translated “showing its fault”), the clause could be translated “in finding fault with them” or “in showing [its] faults to them.” If αὐτοίς goes with the following λέγει (legei, “he says”), the clause is best translated, “in finding/showing [its] faults, he says to them.” The accusative pronoun suffers no such ambiguity, for it must be the object of μεμφόμενος rather than λέγει. Although a decision is difficult, the dative form of the pronoun best explains the rise of the other reading and is thus more likely to be original.

(0.12) (2Ti 2:14)

tc ‡ Most witnesses (A D Ψ 048 1241 [1505] 1739 1881 M al sy SBL) have κυρίου (kuriou, “Lord”) instead of θεοῦ (theou, “God”) here, while a few have Χριστοῦ (Christou, “Christ”; 206 429 1758). θεοῦ, however, is well supported by א C F G I 614 629 630 1175 al. Internally, the Pastorals never elsewhere use the expression ἐνώπιον κυρίου (enōpion kuriou, “before the Lord”), but consistently use ἐνώπιον θεοῦ (“before God”; cf. 1 Tim 2:3; 5:4, 21; 6:13; 2 Tim 4:1). But this fact could be argued both ways: The author’s style may be in view, or scribes may have adjusted the wording to conform it to the Pastorals’ otherwise universal expression. Further, only twice in the NT (Jas 4:10 [v.l. θεοῦ]; Rev 11:4 [v.l. θεοῦ]) does the expression ἐνώπιον κυρίου occur. That such an expression is not found in the corpus Paulinum seems to be sufficient impetus for scribes to change the wording here. Thus, although the external evidence is somewhat on the side of θεοῦ, the internal evidence is on the side of κυρίου. A decision is difficult, but κυρίου is the preferred reading.



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