Saturday, March 29, 2014

Isaiah 9:6,7 messianism or rhetoric pep talk?

Isaiah 9:6,7
כי ילד ילד לנו בן נתן לנו ותהי המשרה על שכמו ויקרא שמו פלא יועץ אל גבור אביעד שר שלום


Christian Bible translators had decided to interpret the preposition [אל] (el =toward) as the short form of addressing G'd.

The following is the phrase literal translation
....

כי ילד
that a child
ילד לנו
shall be born to us
בן נתן לנו
a son given to us
ותהי המשרה
the government would be
על שכמו
upon his shoulder
ויקרא שמו
his name would be called
פלא יועץ
wonder(ful) who be in counsel
אל
to
גבור
a hero/warrior of
אבי עד
eternal father
שר שלום 
authority/prince of peace
 
Let me reproduce my interpretation and translation which I had posted elsewhere.

I compare this to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. This passage has to be read together with the surrounding text, not just picked out awkwardly by itself.

Let's say a politician or orator gives the following speech in an extremely poor black neighbourhood in the 1980s ...


I have a vision.
Despite all the adversity we face.
Despite all the poverty.
Despite the low rates of high school graduation.
A son will be born.
He will have an education.
He will excel in school.
He will be an engineer, a doctor, a scientist.
He will be the President.
He will be a hero blessed by G'd

Which is simply a rhetoric about a singular envisioned child as the example of any other child having a good education and becoming a respected member of society and even becoming the President.

I'm afraid that one day, in a thousand years', someone would pick up MLK's speech and turn it into a prophetic declaration about a pair of black and white kids who grew up together being the prophesied saviours of the world.


We Jews are oppressed.
We constantly lose our battles.
It seems we are not fit to have our own govt.
But people now in darkness see a light at the end of the tunnel.
That a child would be born.
A son given to us
He will have the respect and honour.
Heck, he would even be the gov'nor
And rub shoulders with a warrior of the Eternal Father.
And would be admired to bring peace.


The biblical orator of this passage believed that Jewish children would one day be heroes again, exemplified by a singular case - as in MLK's speech.

It is said that Hebrew does not have subjunctive mood. I dispute that. We should revisit that. I believe the conversive vav should actually be called a subjunctive vav, the writers of the Bible had used for setting the subjunctive mood.

http://ancienthebrewgrammar.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/recvavcons.pdf

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