Micah 1:5 - Jacob and Samaria
What is the transgression of Jacob, if not Samaria?So far, I have been unable to understand this wording. I don't understand what the biblical author was saying about the relationship between Jacob and Samaria. This translation wording is nearly identical to those from several other Bible versions:
What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not Samaria? (KJV)What meaning, if any, do you get from the wording in question, or the wordings from any of these other versions?
What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? (RSV, NRSV, ESV)
What is the transgression of Jacob But Samaria? (NJPS)
What is Jacob's transgression? Is it not Samaria? (NIV, TNIV)
What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? (NASB)
What is the rebellion of Jacob? Isn’t it Samaria? (HCSB)
What is the revolt of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? (NWT)
What is the crime of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? (REB, NJB, NAB)
Do you think that the biblical author intended his question(s) to mean something to his hearers?
I start with the assumption that people intend what they say to be meaningful to their hearers. Of course, sometimes people do not follow that assumption. But without evidence to the contrary, I assume that the author of Micah intended what he wrote to communicate meaning to his hearers.
I suspect that there is ellipsis in the Hebrew text of Micah 1:5 containing some implicit information which the biblical author knew and assumed that his audience knew and could infer from his words.
What do you think that implicit information might be?
If you were to reword the question to make that implicit information explicit, what are some possible rewordings?
What, if any, principles might be suggested for Bible translation practice from translation wordings above?
As you wrestle with these questions with me, feel free to consult as much of the context of the questions (in question!) in Micah as you would like.
Are there any other thoughts that you have as you think about this wording from Micah 1:5?