Thursday, March 30, 2017

Joshua 24

There is a struggle with translating the word for God. First, the first two letters (אל) are also a preposition. Sometimes they occur with another word (like Beth-el) indicating a place name.

The word in the singular is אלוה. This form is most common in Job, rare elsewhere. The plural, the main word for God or gods is אלהים. It is plural in form but is often associated with a singular pronoun or verb form. (e.g. Genesis 1:3 וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר)

It may also have a ה prefix, (364 of 2710 occurrences) indicating the definite article or a direct address or a question.

What cues does a reader use to tell if this word signifies God with a capital G or gods plural, with a lower case g? When should the definite article be made explicit in English? English custom not to say the God, might make the reader think that when the definite article is present, it should always be read as the gods? That doesn't seem to work as a strategy in some places. E.g. 2 Chronicles 24:20.

And the spirit of God (אלהים) clothed Zechariah, child of Jehoiada, the priest, and he stood over the people.
And he said to them, thus says God (האלהים), Why will you bypass the commandments of Yahweh so you will not prosper? Because you have forsaken Yahweh, so he he has forsaken you.

Sometimes I render the God as this God. (The phrase האלהים הזה, which could be rendered as this God, never occurs in the Bible.) But most translators ignore the many instances where האלהים occurs and the theological implication is God with a capital G.

Beware that the aliens (i.e. the non-Hebrews) might well have capitalized their God if they had had such a typographic convention in their time. And the Hebrews in these stories are engaged in putting down the alien gods because Yahweh is jealous and holy and so on. Is this God real? ... Are our gods real? Just look at them: money, power, capital, assets, looks, physique, desire, pleasure, country, family, self, and so on. Some of them might even have noses, but they might not be good at smelling out what is best for themselves or us. We of course, don't capitalize these things, but they are the work of our own hands. To some we frequently assign a definite article, like the market, or the dollar, or the flag.

Joshua in this passage is giving us a warning here. We are told, if we are in this story, to bend our hearts (or the traditional incline from the Anglican liturgy) to Yahweh, the God of Israel.

The measure of money, qasita, is used 3 times: here, Genesis, and Job.

Joshua 24 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיֶּאֶסֹ֧ף יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶת־כָּל־שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל שְׁכֶ֑מָה
וַיִּקְרָא֩ לְזִקְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל וּלְרָאשָׁ֗יו וּלְשֹֽׁפְטָיו֙ וּלְשֹׁ֣טְרָ֔יו וַיִּֽתְיַצְּב֖וּ לִפְנֵ֥י הָאֱלֹהִֽים
1 And Joshua gathered all the sceptres of Israel towards Shechem,
and called for the elders of Israel, and to its preeminent, and to its judges, and to its overseers, and they presented themselves before God.
3c 4B 18
28
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָ֗ם כֹּֽה־אָמַ֣ר יְהוָה֮ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֗ר יָשְׁב֤וּ אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ מֵֽעוֹלָ֔ם תֶּ֛רַח אֲבִ֥י אַבְרָהָ֖ם וַאֲבִ֣י נָח֑וֹר
וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים
2 And Joshua said to all the people, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Across the river, your ancestors settled of old, Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor,
and they served other gods.
3d 4C 49
10
וָ֠אֶקַּח אֶת־אֲבִיכֶ֤ם אֶת־אַבְרָהָם֙ מֵעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר וָאוֹלֵ֥ךְ אוֹת֖וֹ בְּכָל־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן
וָאַרְבֶּה֙ אֶת־זַרְע֔וֹ וָֽאֶתֶּן־ל֖וֹ אֶת־יִצְחָֽק
3 ~ And I took your father Abraham from beyond the river, and I led him in all the land of Canaan,
and I increased his seed, and I gave to him Yitschaq.
3e 4C 29
13
וָאֶתֵּ֣ן לְיִצְחָ֔ק אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֖ב וְאֶת־עֵשָׂ֑ו
וָאֶתֵּ֨ן לְעֵשָׂ֜ו אֶת־הַ֤ר שֵׂעִיר֙ לָרֶ֣שֶׁת אוֹת֔וֹ וְיַעֲקֹ֥ב וּבָנָ֖יו יָרְד֥וּ מִצְרָֽיִם
4 And I gave to Yitschaq, Jacob and Esau.
And I gave to Esau, the hill of Seir to possess it, and Jacob and his children descended to Egypt.
3e 4C 14
27
וָאֶשְׁלַ֞ח אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאֶֽת־אַהֲרֹן֙ וָאֶגֹּ֣ף אֶת־מִצְרַ֔יִם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּקִרְבּ֑וֹ
וְאַחַ֖ר הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֶתְכֶֽם
5 And I sent Moses and Aaron and I plagued Egypt as I have done among them,
and afterwards I brought you out.
3e 4C 26
8
וָֽאוֹצִ֤יא אֶת־אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וַתָּבֹ֖אוּ הַיָּ֑מָּה
וַיִּרְדְּפ֨וּ מִצְרַ֜יִם אַחֲרֵ֧י אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֛ם בְּרֶ֥כֶב וּבְפָרָשִׁ֖ים יַם־סֽוּף
6 And I brought your ancestors out from Egypt, and you came toward the sea,
and Egypt pursued after your ancestors by chariot and by cavalry, (the sea of reeds).
3c 4C 17
22
וַיִּצְעֲק֣וּ אֶל־יְהוָ֗ה וַיָּ֨שֶׂם מַֽאֲפֵ֜ל בֵּינֵיכֶ֣ם ׀ וּבֵ֣ין הַמִּצְרִ֗ים וַיָּבֵ֨א עָלָ֤יו אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וַיְכַסֵּ֔הוּ וַתִּרְאֶ֙ינָה֙ עֵינֵיכֶ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּמִצְרָ֑יִם
וַתֵּשְׁב֥וּ בַמִּדְבָּ֖ר יָמִ֥ים רַבִּֽים
7 And they cried out to Yahweh, and he put gloom between you and the Egyptians, and brought on them the sea, and covered it and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt,
and you inhabited in the wilderness many days.
3e 4C 50
10
ואבאה אֶתְכֶ֗ם אֶל־אֶ֤רֶץ הָאֱמֹרִי֙ הַיּוֹשֵׁב֙ בְּעֵ֣בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֖וּ אִתְּכֶ֑ם
וָאֶתֵּ֨ן אוֹתָ֤ם בְּיֶדְכֶם֙ וַתִּֽירְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־אַרְצָ֔ם וָאַשְׁמִידֵ֖ם מִפְּנֵיכֶֽם
8 And I brought you to the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants across the Jordan, and they fought you,
and I gave them into your hand, and you possessed their land, and I exterminated them from your presence.
3e 4C 28
21
וַיָּ֨קָם בָּלָ֤ק בֶּן־צִפּוֹר֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מוֹאָ֔ב וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
וַיִּשְׁלַ֗ח וַיִּקְרָ֛א לְבִלְעָ֥ם בֶּן־בְּע֖וֹר לְקַלֵּ֥ל אֶתְכֶֽם
9 And arose Balak, child of Zippor, the king of Moab, and fought with Israel,
and he sent and called for Balaam, child of Beor, to slight you.
3d 4C 20
17
וְלֹ֥א אָבִ֖יתִי לִשְׁמֹ֣עַ לְבִלְעָ֑ם
וַיְבָ֤רֶךְ בָּרוֹךְ֙ אֶתְכֶ֔ם וָאַצִּ֥ל אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִיָּדֽוֹ
10 But I did not consent to hear Balaam,
and he went out of his way to bless you, and I delivered you from his hand.
3e 4C 11
15
וַתַּעַבְר֣וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֮ וַתָּבֹ֣אוּ אֶל־יְרִיחוֹ֒ וַיִּלָּחֲמ֣וּ בָכֶ֣ם בַּעֲלֵֽי־יְ֠רִיחוֹ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֨י וְהַפְּרִזִּ֜י וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֗י וְהַֽחִתִּי֙ וְהַגִּרְגָּשִׁ֔י הַֽחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִ֑י
וָאֶתֵּ֥ן אוֹתָ֖ם בְּיֶדְכֶֽם
11 And you crossed over the Jordan. And when you came to Jericho, and the owners of Jericho fought with you, the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
And I gave them into your hand.
3e 4B 57
8
וָאֶשְׁלַ֤ח לִפְנֵיכֶם֙ אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֔ה וַתְּגָ֤רֶשׁ אוֹתָם֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם שְׁנֵ֖י מַלְכֵ֣י הָאֱמֹרִ֑י
לֹ֥א בְחַרְבְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֥א בְקַשְׁתֶּֽךָ
12 And I sent before you the hornet, to expel them from before you,
Two kings of the Amorite, not with your sword, and not with your bow.
3e 4C 26
11
וָאֶתֵּ֨ן לָכֶ֜ם אֶ֣רֶץ ׀ אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יָגַ֣עְתָּ בָּ֗הּ וְעָרִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־בְנִיתֶ֔ם וַתֵּשְׁב֖וּ בָּהֶ֑ם
כְּרָמִ֤ים וְזֵיתִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־נְטַעְתֶּ֔ם אַתֶּ֖ם אֹכְלִֽים
13 And I have given to you a land where you did not labour, and cities which you did not build, and you have inhabited them.
Vineyards and olive trees that not you did plant, you are eating.
3c 4C 27
16
וְעַתָּ֞ה יְר֧אוּ אֶת־יְהוָ֛ה וְעִבְד֥וּ אֹת֖וֹ בְּתָמִ֣ים וּבֶֽאֱמֶ֑ת
וְהָסִ֣ירוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר֩ עָבְד֨וּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֜ם בְּעֵ֤בֶר הַנָּהָר֙ וּבְמִצְרַ֔יִם וְעִבְד֖וּ אֶת־יְהוָֽה
14 So now fear Yahweh, and serve him, in completeness and in truth,
and put aside the gods that your ancestors served across the river and in Egypt, and serve Yahweh.
3c 4C 20
31
וְאִם֩ רַ֨ע בְּֽעֵינֵיכֶ֜ם לַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֗ה בַּחֲר֨וּ לָכֶ֣ם הַיּוֹם֮ אֶת־מִ֣י תַעֲבֹדוּן֒ אִ֣ם אֶת־אֱלֹהִ֞ים אֲשֶׁר־עָבְד֣וּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֗ם אֲשֶׁר֙ מֵעֵ֣בֶר הַנָּהָ֔ר וְאִם֙ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָאֱמֹרִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם יֹשְׁבִ֣ים בְּאַרְצָ֑ם
וְאָנֹכִ֣י וּבֵיתִ֔י נַעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־יְהוָֽה
15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether gods that your ancestors served that are from across the river, or whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land you settled,
but I and my house, we will serve Yahweh.
3e 4B 66
13
וַיַּ֤עַן הָעָם֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר חָלִ֣ילָה לָּ֔נוּ מֵעֲזֹ֖ב אֶת־יְהוָ֑ה
לַעֲבֹ֖ד אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים
16 And the people answered and said, Far be it for us to forsake Yahweh,
to serve other gods.
3e 4C 19
9
כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ הוּא֩ הַמַּעֲלֶ֨ה אֹתָ֧נוּ וְאֶת־אֲבוֹתֵ֛ינוּ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣ית עֲבָדִ֑ים
וַאֲשֶׁ֧ר עָשָׂ֣ה לְעֵינֵ֗ינוּ אֶת־הָאֹת֤וֹת הַגְּדֹלוֹת֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה וַֽיִּשְׁמְרֵ֗נוּ בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלַ֣כְנוּ בָ֔הּ וּבְכֹל֙ הָֽעַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָבַ֖רְנוּ בְּקִרְבָּֽם
17 C For Yahweh our God, himself, brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude,
and he it is who did, in our sight, those great signs, and kept us in every way where we walked, and among all the peoples through whom we passed nearby.
3c 4C 31
48
וַיְגָ֨רֶשׁ יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־כָּל־הָעַמִּ֗ים וְאֶת־הָאֱמֹרִ֛י יֹשֵׁ֥ב הָאָ֖רֶץ מִפָּנֵ֑ינוּ
גַּם־אֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ נַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כִּי־ה֖וּא אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
18 And Yahweh expelled all the peoples, including the Amorite inhabiting the land, from before us.
Moreover, we ourselves will serve Yahweh, for he is our God.
3d 4B 25
15
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־הָעָ֗ם לֹ֤א תֽוּכְלוּ֙ לַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים קְדֹשִׁ֖ים ה֑וּא
אֵֽל־קַנּ֣וֹא ה֔וּא לֹֽא־יִשָּׂ֥א לְפִשְׁעֲכֶ֖ם וּלְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶֽם
19 And Joshua said to the people, You are not able to serve Yahweh, for the God of holy ones is he.
A jealous God is he. He will not bear for you to transgress or for you to sin.
3e 4C 26
15
כִּ֤י תַֽעַזְבוּ֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה וַעֲבַדְתֶּ֖ם אֱלֹהֵ֣י נֵכָ֑ר
וְשָׁ֨ב וְהֵרַ֤ע לָכֶם֙ וְכִלָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם אַחֲרֵ֖י אֲשֶׁר־הֵיטִ֥יב לָכֶֽם
20 C For if you do forsake Yahweh and serve alien gods,
then he will turn and be hurtful to you and consume you, after that he has done good for you.
3e 4C 16
21
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ
לֹ֕א כִּ֥י אֶת־יְהוָ֖ה נַעֲבֹֽד
21 And the people said to Joshua,
No, for Yahweh we will serve.
3e 4A 10
8
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־הָעָ֗ם עֵדִ֤ים אַתֶּם֙ בָּכֶ֔ם כִּֽי־אַתֶּ֞ם בְּחַרְתֶּ֥ם לָכֶ֛ם אֶת־יְהוָ֖ה לַעֲבֹ֣ד אוֹת֑וֹ
וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ עֵדִֽים
22 And Joshua said to the people, Witnesses you are among yourselves, that you have chosen for yourselves Yahweh to serve him.
And they said, Witnesses.
3d 4C 31
5
וְעַתָּ֕ה הָסִ֛ירוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֥י הַנֵּכָ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם
וְהַטּוּ֙ אֶת־לְבַבְכֶ֔ם אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
23 So now put aside the alien gods which are among you,
and bend your heart to Yahweh the God of Israel.
3d 4B 19
16
וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ
אֶת־יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֙ינוּ֙ נַעֲבֹ֔ד וּבְקוֹל֖וֹ נִשְׁמָֽע
24 And the people said to Joshua,
Yahweh our God we will serve, and with his voice we will hear.
3e 4C 10
15
וַיִּכְרֹ֨ת יְהוֹשֻׁ֧עַ בְּרִ֛ית לָעָ֖ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא
וַיָּ֥שֶׂם ל֛וֹ חֹ֥ק וּמִשְׁפָּ֖ט בִּשְׁכֶֽם
25 And Joshua cut a covenant for the people on that day,
and he set for them statute and judgment in Shechem.
3c 4B 15
10
וַיִּכְתֹּ֤ב יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה בְּסֵ֖פֶר תּוֹרַ֣ת אֱלֹהִ֑ים
וַיִּקַּח֙ אֶ֣בֶן גְּדוֹלָ֔ה וַיְקִימֶ֣הָ שָּׁ֔ם תַּ֚חַת הָֽאַלָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּמִקְדַּ֥שׁ יְהוָֽה
26 And Joshua wrote these words in the record of the instruction of God,
and he took a great stone and he placed it there, under an elm which was in the sanctuary of Yahweh.
3e 4C 22
25
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָ֗ם הִנֵּ֨ה הָאֶ֤בֶן הַזֹּאת֙ תִּֽהְיֶה־בָּ֣נוּ לְעֵדָ֔ה כִּֽי־הִ֣יא שָׁמְעָ֗ה אֵ֚ת כָּל־אִמְרֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר עִמָּ֑נוּ
וְהָיְתָ֤ה בָכֶם֙ לְעֵדָ֔ה פֶּֽן־תְּכַחֲשׁ֖וּן בֵּאלֹהֵיכֶֽם
27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold this stone will be in us a testimony, for it has heard all the promises of Yahweh that he spoke with us,
so it will be in you for a testimony, lest you disown your God.
3e 4C 41
17
וַיְשַׁלַּ֤ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ לְנַחֲלָתֽוֹ 28 And Joshua dismissed the people, each to its inheritance. 3e 4C 16
וַיְהִ֗י אַֽחֲרֵי֙ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וַיָּ֛מָת יְהוֹשֻׁ֥עַ בִּן־נ֖וּן עֶ֣בֶד יְהוָ֑ה
בֶּן־מֵאָ֥ה וָעֶ֖שֶׂר שָׁנִֽים
29 And it was after these words that Joshua died, child of Nun, the servant of Yahweh,
a child of a hundred and ten years.
3d 4B 24
8
וַיִּקְבְּר֤וּ אֹתוֹ֙ בִּגְב֣וּל נַחֲלָת֔וֹ בְּתִמְנַת־סֶ֖רַח אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּהַר־אֶפְרָ֑יִם
מִצְּפ֖וֹן לְהַר־גָּֽעַשׁ
30 And they entombed him on the border of his inheritance in Temanat-Sprawl, which is in the hill of Ephraim,
north of the hill of Gaash.
3e 4C 24
6
וַיַּעֲבֹ֤ד יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כֹּ֖ל יְמֵ֣י יְהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ
וְכֹ֣ל ׀ יְמֵ֣י הַזְּקֵנִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶאֱרִ֤יכוּ יָמִים֙ אַחֲרֵ֣י יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר יָדְע֗וּ אֵ֚ת כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יְהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה לְיִשְׂרָאֵֽל
31 And Israel served Yahweh all the days of Joshua,
and all the days of the elders whose days were prolonged after Joshua, and who had known every deed of Yahweh that he had done for Israel.
3e 4C 17
42
וְאֶת־עַצְמ֣וֹת י֠וֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר־הֶעֱל֨וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל ׀ מִמִּצְרַיִם֮ קָבְר֣וּ בִשְׁכֶם֒ בְּחֶלְקַ֣ת הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר קָנָ֧ה יַעֲקֹ֛ב מֵאֵ֛ת בְּנֵֽי־חֲמ֥וֹר אֲבִֽי־שְׁכֶ֖ם בְּמֵאָ֣ה קְשִׂיטָ֑ה
וַיִּֽהְי֥וּ לִבְנֵֽי־יוֹסֵ֖ף לְנַחֲלָֽה
32 And the bones of Joseph which the children of Israel had brought up from Egypt they entombed, in Shechem, in a part of the field that Jacob purchased from the children of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred qasita,
and they became for the children of Joseph as inheritance.
3c 4B 51
10
וְאֶלְעָזָ֥ר בֶּֽן־אַהֲרֹ֖ן מֵ֑ת
וַיִּקְבְּר֣וּ אֹת֗וֹ בְּגִבְעַת֙ פִּֽינְחָ֣ס בְּנ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִתַּן־ל֖וֹ בְּהַ֥ר אֶפְרָֽיִם
33 And Eleazar child of Aaron died,
and they entombed him in the hillock of Phineas, his son, that was given him in the hill of Ephraim.
3e 4B 9
23


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